Is Google Wallet surpassing Apple Wallet? 3 cool new features coming to the app

Google Wallet
(Image credit: Google)

Like Apple Wallet, Google Wallet lets you keep all of your essentials in one hub, including debit cards, plane tickets, bus passes, event tickets, and loyalty cards, and more. You can even add your COVID-19 vaccination card to your Google Wallet — just like the Apple Wallet.

However, while Apple Wallet has already gotten the train moving with its mission of allowing users to add their state ID (Arizona, Maryland, Colorado and Georgia residents have access to this feature), Google's been slacking — until now.

The search-engine giant announced today that anyone with Maryland driver's license (or state ID) can add their card to the Google Wallet app. Google said that Arizona, Colorado and Georgia residents will follow in the coming months.

Maryland ID

Maryland ID (Image credit: Google)

Check out the new other features coming to Google Wallet.

1. Create a digital version of any QR code

Google is introducing a new Wallet feature that lets users create digital replicas of barcodes and QR codes displayed on cards or passes (e.g., a gym membership or library card). All you need to do is take a picture of it.

QR code on Google Wallet

QR code feature on Google Wallet (Image credit: Google)

This is particularly useful for cards and passes that cannot be added to Wallet with its digital-card counterpart, but come with QR codes and barcodes. Another example is a parking pass or a transit QR ticket.

2. Get tickets and boarding passes directly in Google Messages

Thanks to the new update, Google is allowing users to receive their boarding passes directly in the Google Messages app (with RCS enabled). You can also send them to your Wallet within the Messages app, too.

Get boarding pass in Google Messages

Get boarding pass in Google Messages (Image credit: Google)

However, this isn't rolling out broadly just yet. The search-engine giant partnered with Vietnam Airlines and Renfe (a leading train operator in Spain) to make this happen, but Google is being hush hush about an official release date. All we know is that it's "coming soon."

3. Add your insurance card to Google Wallet

Google is teaming up with Humana, a health insurance company, to develop a digital equivalent of the provider's health insurance card, allowing Humana subscribers to access their insurance details directly in the Wallet app.

Phone with medical information

(Image credit: Getty Images/Mykyta Dolmatov)

UK residents will also appreciate the fact that they'll have the option to add their National Insurance Number (i.e., the British version of a social security number) to the Google Wallet via the His Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) app.

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!