Leading the Pack: Google’s early entry into the mobile wallet field has allowed it to focus more on expanding the system’s capabilities.

Google Wallet, available for use on six smartphones and a tablet, and accepted at over 200,000 locations nationwide, is expanding its capabilities with a new innovation that allows it to be used in conjunction with any credit or debit card issued by payment processors Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover.

User Friendly:  To add a new card to the Google Wallet, a user needs only enter the card number in the Google app. Then the card can be used to make any type of purchase, which is added to the transaction record listed on the phone, alongside merchant name and dollar amount.

Secure: If the mobile device is lost or stolen, users can remotely disable the app from their online Google Wallet account. The account can also be locked, requiring a PIN code to reactivate. Robin Dua, Google Wallet’s head of product management, wrote on Google Commerce’s official blog:

If you lose your phone, just visit the ‘Devices’ section in the online wallet and select the phone with the mobile wallet you wish to disable. When you successfully disable your wallet on a device, Google Wallet will not authorize any transactions attempted with that device. If the Google Wallet online service can establish a connection to your device, it will remotely reset your mobile wallet, clearing it of card and transaction data.

Once using an internet connection to change the card they’re currently using, or enter a new one, users can make purchases offline using the card they currently have selected.

Near-field communications-enabled mobile payment systems are expected to receive much more competition in the near future.