Google Wallet now cloud-based, accepts all credit cards

Google today announced on the official Android blog that Google Wallet, the app that allows users to pay with their phone via near field communication (NFC), has been updated to a cloud-based version that supports all credit and debit cards from Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover.

As Google explains it, the move to a cloud-based system speeds up the integration process for banks that want to add their cards to the Wallet app and also makes the it more secure.

Back in February, Zvelo exposed security vulnerabilities in Google Wallet’s PIN system, but Google insisted that the app was in many respects much safer than a physical wallet.

Now that it made the app cloud-based, Google claims that it’s even safer as the only information that’s stored on the phone is the Wallet ID (virtual card number). The user’s payment cards are stored on highly secure Google servers.

An added security measure is that users are now also able to remotely disable the Google Wallet app from any computer in case their phone is lost or stolen.

The update to Google Wallet follows Google’s announcement yesterday that all Google Play apps must use Google’s payment system. The company will still make exceptions for apps that sell physical goods or services such as movie tickets, but developers of most apps will now have to use Google’s official channels, rather than alternative payment providers like PayPal, Boku or BoxPay.

The Google Wallet app is available now on Google Play. It’s compatible with six phones from Sprint and Virgin Mobile, as well as the new Nexus 7 tablet.