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Google Wallet bolts on Apple's tech to improve mobile payment offering

Google has a history of friendly competition with Apple, even if the feeling isn't mutual. In its latest gesture of interest, Google has updated the Google Wallet app to utilise Apple’s Touch ID authentication.

Touch ID is Apple’s new fingerprint authentication service, used to open certain apps and pay for things on Apple Pay. Apple opened up the API for Touch ID in iOS 8, after almost a year on Apple-only services.

Google Wallet is a major competitor to Apple Pay, even if it is blocked on most carriers. The digital wallet allows users to pay for things on the internet, and in-store through NFC.

On the iOS app, Google will not be able to initiate mobile payments on NFC, due to Apple locking out third party developers from NFC chip. However Google Wallet users will still be able complete various transactions and pay for things online. Any mobile apps that accept Google Wallet payments will also work on the iOS version.

A new feature on Google Wallet allows users to split the bill between friends. Users will be able to add various people to the split bill, and they can all pay a shared amount.

Google will also allow users to pay for things through loyalty or gift cards when there is no internet connection. Another feature available on both iOS and Android.

Google recently launched a "Buy With Google" promotion in 14 retailers across the U.S., including JackThreads, Eating LivingSocial, Fancy and more. The promotion lowers the prices, if users pay through Google Wallet.

The world of mobile payments is heating up, with Apple Pay already accepted by 90 per cent of the major banks in the U.S. Square and other cashier services are already adding Apple Pay to accepted services.