Google has launched its latest app for Android, Google Wallet. It has made that announcement during its I/O Developer Conference yesterday, where it unveiled the new Android and a Wear OS application. The new app will allow users to store all sorts of things such as concert tickets, vaccination cards, digital IDs, credit cards, and loyalty cards on their phones. At first glance, this might look very simple and straightforward, but that is not all that the new Google app, Google Wallet, has to offer.
Google Wallet – More than Just Credit Cards
Google has long offered Google Pay, which is used for storing credit cards and other payment options. In 2020, the tech giant made some considerable changes to the app by making it focus on tracking spending, along with the ability to receive and send money to your friends as well as family members. At that point, Google was even planning to launch its own bank account. It was going to achieve that through its partnership with financial organizations such as Citi. Sadly, this new project, named Plex, was never completed nor released. The project was quickly shelved right after the executive behind Plex left Google 6 months following the announcement.
Google Pay – Already a Huge Success
According to Google, Google Pay exists in 42 markets around the world. In 39 out of these 42 markets, Google Pay is still mainly a Wallet. Users in these markets will see the Google Pay app update as a simple update to make it the New Google Wallet app. On the other hand, in Singapore and the USA, Google Pay will still remain as the payment-focuses application it is, and the Google Wallet app will exist as a parallel app. It will focus on storing digital cards. As for the Indian market, Google stated that the users would keep using the Google Pay app that they are already familiar with.
Google Pay is going to be a companion app to the new Google Wallet, says the GM and VP of Payments at Google, Arnold Goldberg. He has become a part of the company earlier in 2022 after a long career at Paypal. He also added that users should think of the new Google Pay app as a much higher value app. It will help the user manage money and make payments. On the other hand, the Google Wallet is going to be like a container. Users will store all of their payment assets as well as non-payment ones.
The Reason behind Google Wallet’s Development
Arnold Goldberg noted that the tech giant decided to develop this app and go this route due to the rapid digitization. The digitization of almost everything is now on a fast track these last two years, especially because of the pandemic. He said that we witnessed ten years of chance in only two years. People now demand digitization, and it has become a necessity instead of being a nice-to-have like before the pandemic. That clarified their focus on what they need to do as a tech giant and a payments organization. They want to reimagine what they are doing; not from a payment point of view, but what they can help users do and achieve with digital wallets.
Google Wallet’s list of surprised does not stop there, as Google Wallet supports seamless integration with other apps if the users wish to do so. For example, if you have a transit card, your balance and card will appear automatically in Google Maps if you are searching for directions. This way, you can check your balance and top it up if it is low before you arrive at your stop or station. When it comes to privacy, Google Wallet is going to save everything on the user’s phone. It does not convey or share any data with Google Services. Google Wallet is going to be available on any device that runs on Android 5 Lollipop or Wear Os.