Google Wallet Adds New Order Tracking Features for Users

When users now place online orders using Google Wallet, they'll be able to receive status reports and purchase information right on their devices.

Google Wallet has just gained some new features that allow users to see receipts and purchase and shipping information right on their mobile devices.

The new Google Wallet enhancements were unveiled by Amit Litsur, product manager for Google Wallet, in a March 12 post on the Google Commerce Blog. So far, the improvements are available to users in the United States who are using Android devices running Version 4.0 or higher or Apple iOS devices running Version 6.0 or higher.

"Want to spend less time worrying about your online purchases? With Orders, a new feature in the latest version of the Google Wallet app … you can automatically track your online orders," wrote Litsur. "Google Wallet also notifies you about the status of your orders, plus shows your past orders all in one place."

Now using Google Wallet, customers will be able to see any receipts sent to their Gmail accounts when they are inside the Google Wallet app, wrote Litsur. "We've also worked with primary package carriers in the U.S. so that when your order status is updated, you'll get notified of the update through Wallet. So whether your order is shipped, out for delivery, or delayed, you'll never wonder about the status of your order."

Users will now be able to view all of the ordering history in one place, he added. "You can view the products you've ordered, merchant contact information, and shipping details in the app. Plus, with just one click you can call or email the merchant if you have questions about your order."

The new versions of the app for Android and iOS are rolling out this week, according to Google. "To begin tracking your orders, open the Google Wallet app and click 'Activate' under 'Track your orders' or click on 'Orders in the menu," wrote Litsur. "In addition to Orders, the Google Wallet app lets you save your loyalty programs and offers in one place, send money to friends and family, and tap your phone to pay if you have an NFC-enabled Android device."

Google is often adding new innovations to its Google Wallet services.

In November 2013, Google gave Google Wallet customers in the United States another convenient way to make purchases using the funds in their Wallet accounts by offering a new Google Wallet Card, a debit card with no annual or monthly fees. The Google-branded debit card lets Wallet customers take money out through ATMs, make purchases anywhere MasterCard is accepted and receive quick notifications on their mobile devices to track their expenditures, according to an earlier eWEEK report.

While there are no fees from Google for transferring money to or from the card using a bank checking or savings account, a fee of 2.9 percent is levied when a user sends or receives money to or from a credit or debit card, according to Google. The minimum fee for such a transaction is 30 cents. Some ATM operators also charge an ATM fee to use the card, according to Google.

In September 2013, Google released a new version of its Google Wallet app for Android phones that included improvements for sending money to others, getting special savings on online purchases and tracking purchases. The new version of the Google Wallet app rolled out for all Android phones, Version 2.3 and higher.

In May 2013, Google announced that it integrated its Wallet payment services with Gmail, allowing users to safely and securely send money to a recipient in an email. The service, which allows up to $10,000 to be sent in a single transaction, works even if the recipient does not have a Gmail address. The new Google Wallet app also received that capability.