At its I/O developer conference, Google today launched Google Wallet, a new Android and Wear OS app that will allow users to store things like credit cards, loyalty cards, digital IDs, transit cards, concert tickets, vaccination cards, and more.
This is pretty straightforward, but from now on, it gets a little confusing. After all, Google has always offered a Google Pay app (and yes – the Google Wallet app too), where you can store your credit cards for online and contactless payments. Back in 2020Google has made some major changes to Google Pay to refocus it more on tracking your spending and sending and receiving money between friends and family. At that point, Google wanted to launch its own bank account, in partnership with financial institutions like Citi, that users would manage in Google Pay. This project, nicknamed Plex, is unprecedented daylight It was quickly shelved after the CEO behind the project left Google nearly six months after the announcement.
Currently, Google Pay is available in 42 markets, Google says. Since in 39 of these markets, Google Pay is still essentially a wallet, these users will see simply updating the Google Pay app to the new Google Wallet app. But in the US and Singapore, Google Pay will remain the app focused on payments while the Wallet app will exist in parallel to focus on storing your digital cards. Meanwhile, in India, Google says that “people will continue to use the Google Pay app they are used to today.”
“Google Pay will be a companion app to Wallet,” said Arnold Goldberg, vice president and general manager of payments at Google, who joined the company earlier this year after a long time at PayPal. “I’m thinking of [the Google Pay app] As this high value app will be a place for you to make payments and manage money, while the wallet will really be that container for you to store your payment assets and unpaid assets.”
Goldberg noted that Google decided to go down this path due to the rapid digitization we’ve seen over the past two years of the pandemic. “We’re talking about ten years of change in two years only from a behavioral perspective, and people are now calling for digitization versus it being a cool thing before COVID,” he said. “It made clear our focus on what we, as a payments organization, need to do – what we need to do as a business – to reimagine not just what we do in terms of online and in-store payments, but also think about what we can empower people to handle their digital wallets.” .
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