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Google Wallet

Track saving, view ride history, and get updates from the transit agency

By Rayhan MollaPublished 7 months ago 2 min read
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Google Wallet is making it easier to use tap to pay for transit passes

Summary :

  1. Google Wallet is developing new features to make managing your commute easier, such as displaying ride history and savings, and keeping users informed about service alterations and promotional fares.
  2. Google Wallet is also making it easier to buy and store transit passes directly on your phone, including integrating with ORCA transit cards in Seattle and the Puget Sound Region.
  3. Meanwhile, Google is expanding its ticketing options within Google Maps, allowing commuters to plan multi-leg journeys and purchase all necessary tickets in one go, partnering with over 250 ticketing entities globally.

The advent of digital payment platforms such as Google Wallet has brought us closer to a future where smartphones replace traditional wallets. These platforms have evolved beyond simple tap and pay applications, with some states allowing users to import official government IDs and drivers licenses. Additionally, Google has recently introduced new features that enhance the management of transit passes, further simplifying the daily commute for users.

Currently, commuters in places like London, New York, and Sydney frequently use what's called the open-loop payment method, allowing them to utilize any card from their wallet — be it physical or digital — for transit payments. This approach, while highly convenient, sometimes leaves individuals guessing about their transit expenditures over the course of days or weeks.

Addressing this gap, Google Wallet is developing a feature that will display users' ride history and the savings accrued versus time-based fare caps. Additionally, transit agencies will be able to keep users informed about things like potential service alterations or promotional fares. This capability will first appear with Brighton and Hove Buses in the UK soon, and there's a plan to introduce it to more cities in the next year.

Google has also teamed up with several transit organizations to make buying and keeping transit passes in Wallet easier. For instance, transit riders in Madrid can now buy and store their passes directly on their phones. And before long, folks in Seattle and the Puget Sound Region will have the option to integrate their ORCA transit cards with Google Wallet. This enhancement not only simplifies the experience but also gives users instant insights into their card balance and past transactions, helping them stay on top of their expenses.

Moreover, Google Wallet's versatility extends beyond just transit passes. In some cities, riders are required to present tickets to drivers or fare inspectors. Many of these tickets, from agencies like SNCF in France, Hamburg HVV in Germany, and Italo in Italy, can now be saved directly to Google Wallet, a major step in making digital payments a universal reality for commuters.

For added convenience, though it doesn't pertain directly to Wallet, Google has also expanded its ticketing options within Google Maps. Commuters can now plan multi-leg journeys and purchase all necessary tickets in one go, thanks to partnerships with over 250 ticketing entities globally.

Most of these moves further Google Wallet's quest to completely replace the traditional billfold. Another advance Google recently made on this front was the expansion of digital ID support to more US states — namely, Arizona, Colorado, and Georgia. By covering your travel and commute needs in addition to replacing your credit cards and debit cards with its tap to pay functionality, Google Wallet hopes to usher in a future where you only need to take your smartphone with you when you go out.

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Rayhan Molla

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