How to add any credit or debit card to Google Wallet

Google Wallet was just updated, allowing users to add a Visa, American Express, or Discover card to the app for the first time.

One of the many drawbacks to using Google Wallet as a true wallet replacement was the inability to add a Visa, American Express, or Discover card as a payment option. You were either limited to using a prepaid card Google provided you with, adding money to it each time you wanted to use it. Or, you had to own a MasterCard.

But, with the update Google just released, users can now add any debit or credit card to their Google Wallet account, and use it to make purchases with their NFC equipped Android device.

The update takes all of the private payment information off of your device, and places it on Google's secure servers. Google Wallet can then use any card you have added to your Google Wallet account online, or on the device to make a purchase. It bypasses the MasterCard requirement by creating a virtual MasterCard number, in place of your actual credit or debit card number when you make a purchase. Therefore, your actual card number is never passed on to the merchant.

To add a Visa, Discover, or American Express card to the Google Wallet app, make sure you are running the latest version of the app from the Play Store.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

You can add any type of card by selecting the add a credit or debit card icon. Fill out the required information and tap on next when you are done.

If you'd rather add a card online, visit https://wallet.google.com/manage on your computer. After logging in, select Payment Methods and then the Add Card or Account button at the top.

Once a card is added online, the next time you launch the Google Wallet app on your device, the card will show up. You can customize the look and name of the card by tapping on it, then tapping on the menu icon and edit card.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

If you want to set a particular card as your default payment method, tap on the "Select card" button below the card. Once it's set as the default payment, you will see the a green icon appear next to it and the text on the button will read "Selected card." This is the card that will be used when you pay via NFC using the app on your phone.

One more feature added today was the ability to disable Google Wallet on any device. This is an important security feature should you lose or misplace a device and want to prevent unauthorized access to your Google Wallet account. You can disable a device by from your wallet online and viewing the devices section.

 

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