Google Wallet app is here to replace your physical wallet & ‘Google Pay’
At its I/O developer conference today, Google finally announced the much-awaited Google Wallet revamp. The updated Google Wallet app will let you store everything from credit cards to digital IDs on your phone. The company is essentially trying to replace your physical wallet. And — here’s the kicker — this new Google Wallet app will also replace the old Google Pay app in some regions. That’s right, Google has officially confirmed that Google Pay will soon become the new Google Wallet app in regions outside the United States, Singapore, and India.
The idea behind the Google Wallet app is pretty straightforward — replace your physical wallet with a digital one that stays inside your phone. This means it’ll become a place to store all your IDs, credit and debit cards, airline boarding passes, and more. Google is also integrating its Wallet app with other services like Google Maps. For instance, adding your transit card to Wallet will trigger Google Maps to show your card and balance automatically when you search for directions.
Storing digital IDs is a bit more complicated than it sounds, though. We talked a bit more about Google’s efforts to help you store identity cards using Identity Credential API in Android 11. There are a lot of security implications that need to be figured out, but it seems that Google is confident that it can do it right. The company says the new app will become home to things like driver’s licenses and state IDs, though this will also demand a huge amount of effort from state DMVs (in the US) and other local agencies. Notably, the Google Wallet will also be home to office badges and hotel keys, and this will also require third-party support.
Google Wallet or Google Pay?
While it’s true that the new app is replacing Google Pay, the company isn’t getting rid of the existing app entirely. These two brands will coexist. Think of it as Apple’s Wallet app and Apple Pay service. Both of them have been a part of Apple’s ecosystem for years now. So how is Google handling the rollout of this app? Here, take a look:
Essentially, Google Pay is becoming Google Wallet in a lot of countries. That, however, isn’t the case in the US, Singapore, and India. Google Wallet will enter as a standalone app in the US and Singapore, while Google Pay will stay around for payments. In India, Google Pay is staying the same, so no additional Wallet app there. Unlike Google Pay, Wallet is going to be an Android exclusive app for now. However, it looks like you’ll also be able to access some information on other platforms. Storing digital IDs, as we mentioned earlier, is a bit complicated, so it’s likely to be locked to a single device and will require additional steps to reconfigure.