Google Wallet rolls out mDL support and prepares more digital identity use cases
Google Wallet users in certain U.S. states will now be able to store digital identities on their phones.
From today onwards, people with a Maryland ID, such as a driver’s license, will be able to add this to their Google Wallet, provided their device has Android 8.0 or later with device lock enabled.
Residents of Arizona, Colorado, and Georgia will soon have access to the feature at an unspecified date “within the coming months.”
Maryland wallet users will now be able to use their new saved ID at TSA PreCheck lines at certain airports, and Google promises users will soon get more use cases for the feature. These include online car booking and account verification.
The latest piece of news should not come as much of a surprise. Back in April 2022, 9to5Google highlighted a tweet that implies that Google Wallet could one day support digital ID for Transportation Security Administration (TSA) airport checkpoints in the U.S.
A Google spokesperson told Biometric Update that it has plenty of other airline-related use cases on the horizon, pointing to how it is “working with our airline partners around the world to make it even easier to check in to your flight and save your boarding pass to Wallet through RCS, which we just announced with Vietnam Airlines.”
In addition, the tech giant was able to roll out other identity-related features
Users will now be able to add their corporate badges to their Google Wallet at some point later this year,
In addition, users in some countries, such as Germany, will be able to add their local transit passes to Google Wallet, purchased at select transit agencies to their Wallet. These “Deutschlandticket” passes allow access to transportation across all of Germany.
Google’s new digital identity functionality is also set to extend to health insurance cards. The company is collaborating with health insurance firm Humana, which will see a digital version of its health insurance card become available in Google Wallet.
In the UK, Google Wallet users will be able to save their National Insurance Number — used for Tax purposes as well as access a huge variety of social to their Wallet via the HMRC app.
As details such as tax details and healthcare are considered more sensitive, Google will grant these a “Private pass” label and will require verification, such as a fingerprint or pin to access.
Addressing some of the potential security concerns that surround digital identity, Google told Biometric Update how it sees these “Private Passes” working in the future.
“Private Passes are passes that contain sensitive data, such as a Mobile Driver’s License and COVID cards,” the spokesperson explained. “Given it contains sensitive personal information, Google Wallet will require you to verify before you can view or use these passes.”
“The data in private passes are visible only to you by default. You must consent in order to share data in your private pass with a relying party in an encrypted manner, such as when presenting your mDL at a TSA terminal.”
They added: “Pass issuers can use our Private Passes API to create private passes in the Wallet including healthcare membership cards, pharmaceutical cards, etc.”