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by Deanna Ting | July 21, 2014
Google recently updated its Google Wallet app with a variety of new features, including the ability to support gift cards. In addition to supporting both loyalty cards and offers, the app now enables users to manage gift cards and redeem those cards in store.

To add gift cards to Google Wallet, users can snap a photo of the gift card, type in the card's information, or "Save to Google" if the card is a digital gift card. To use the gift card, users simply show their phone to the cashier upon checkout.

Some gift cards from merchants that include AMC, Best Buy, Nike, Sephora, and Whole Foods, will also allow users to check their gift card balanaces in real time and to receive reminders to use the card when you are near their stores.

Portland, ME-based digital gift card company CashStar recently integrated its platform with Google Wallet, allowing retailers and merchants to interact with the app, run reports of consumer behavior, access location data, promote the retailer's own app, and accelerate consumer redemption. 

“With the rapid growth of omni-channel retail, digital gifting and smartphone adoption, CashStar’s vision is not ‘mobile first’ but rather ‘mobile everything,’” said Ben Kaplan, president and CEO of CashStar. “We are committed to delivering maximum value to retail and restaurant brands as they execute their mobile commerce and mobile marketing strategies in the evolving wallet ecosystem. By integrating with innovative wallet providers and native merchants apps, we provide a single flexible digital gifting solution that enables clients to control their brand experience, data and customer relationships.”
 
Digital gifting platform Gyft, which offers gift cards from more than 200 different retailers, also announced that it is now fully integrated with Google Wallet's new gift card functionality.