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More states to soon adopt Google Wallet’s digital ID initiative, expanding horizons

Google made some exciting progress last year by enhancing its Wallet app, transforming it into an even more robust digital wallet solution. A notable addition was the ability to store workplace IDs directly within Google Wallet, which is a convenient feature for many folks.

Additionally, Google integrated driver’s licenses and digital IDs into the app, providing a seamless and secure way to manage these essential documents. This feature first launched in Maryland and has since expanded to Arizona, Colorado, and Georgia. Soon, support for driver’s licenses and IDs could expand to even more states.

Dong Min Kim, the director of product management for Google Wallet, emphasized in a recent interview with American Banker (via 9to5Google) that digital ID is set to play a pivotal role for Google in 2024. Additionally, Kim hinted at the forthcoming expansion of support for more states within the Wallet app on Android.

According to Kim, Google is collaborating with local authorities to facilitate the rollout of its digital ID service to more states in the coming months. However, the journey is complex, given the varied rules and regulations governing digital IDs across different US states.

For instance, in Georgia, 150,000 residents have enrolled in the digital ID program, but these IDs are limited to certain TSA checkpoints and don’t replace physical cards. Meanwhile, California, lacking a full digital ID system, is piloting an interoperable digital ID project targeting 170,000 participants, but broader implementation would need new laws.

Digital IDs, unlike the more standardized realm of mobile payments and digital payment cards, adhere to the unique guidelines of different states. Navigating this intricate state-by-state landscape requires Google to collaborate individually with each state to integrate digital IDs into Google Wallet.

Despite the challenges posed by the unique guidelines of each state, Kim expressed a bold vision: “We want to create a wallet that will make people feel comfortable leaving their physical wallet at home.”

While the specific states joining the digital ID initiative remain undisclosed, Kim hinted at forthcoming announcements. Moreover, Google’s global ambitions were underscored, with Kim confirming plans to extend similar ID features to other countries. Stay tuned for updates!

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