With Google Wallet, the company aims to: replace the physical one in your pocket. One way to do that is to highlight how passes stored in Wallet could integrate more proactively with other Google apps in the future, but first you’ll need to manually enable a Personalization setting.
With the launch of Wallet, Google used its email announcement to prominently emphasize “new privacy controls” for passes, a category that includes: gift cards, transit cards, boarding passes, event tickets, loyalty cards, digital car keys and campus IDs. (Payment methods such as debit and credit cards are not considered passes and are subject to different privacy settings.)
There are three privacy options in Google Wallet for passes accessible by going to the Google Wallet app > tap your profile picture in the top right corner > Your information in Wallet > Manage pass information.
- Personalization within Wallet: Get helpful tips, suggestions, and more in Wallet based on your passes and how you use them. This data is stored in your Google account and can be deleted at any time.
- Use passes on Google: See things like flight updates, points balances, and event notifications in places like Maps, Calendar, and more.
The first two are pretty basic and enabled by default, with the latter popping up a public transit map in Google Maps as you look up the bus route. Your balance will also show up in Google Maps, and if it’s low, there’s a quick shortcut to top up your rate. This feature should be live today.
Meanwhile, Wallet’s “Personalization in Google” setting is disabled by default and allows for more proactive integrations with other first-party services.
- Personalization on Google: Get better recommendations, results, and more based on your passes and how you use them in places like Maps, Calendar, and Assistant.
Google’s Dong Min Kim (Director of Product, Payments) described to us today such a “seamless experience” that could eventually make it possible. For example, if you’re saving a boarding pass for a flight to San Francisco, Google Wallet may recommend that you purchase a clipper (public transport) card to save you time when arriving at SFO and when boarding BART (train).
This is a simple smart one, but something that can be quite useful and powerful overtime. Google plans to build out these Wallet experiences over time, but the Personalization setting is already available for that.
Historically, proactive experiences have been in the realm of Google’s assistants. There was of course Google Now that would show maps while travelling such as nearby attractions and even a stage translator in another country. Meanwhile, Google Assistant isn’t as proactive as Google Now, especially in light of the Snapshot feed disappears.
On the contrary, the emergence of such a support capability, powered by Google Wallet, is interesting and logical. Wallet cards touch on many everyday activities that people want help with. Compared to GPaythat tried too ambitiously to help manage all your finances from the gate, Google Wallet’s suggestions are lower, but they can be just as helpful if done correctly.
Wallet has so far a promising startand the promise of what’s to come makes it one of Google’s more interesting and coherent products in years.
More about Google Wallet:
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