First, there was Google Wallet, then there was Android Pay, then there was Google Pay, and now there is Google Wallet? At first glance, this could look like Google’s merry-go-round of product naming, but we think it actually makes sense.
Right off the bat, we’re not going to defend Google’s habit of rebranding its products and we’re going to jump into this conversation where we were, in Australia, yesterday. We had one app and service, Google Pay, a platform from Google for payments, but it also did loyalty cards, transit cards, vaccine records etc.
Today at Google IO Google officially launched a new app (?), Google Wallet. Google Wallet will replace the current Google Pay app via a Playstore update, and extend the ‘wallet’ like features of the app. Let’s roll the video as a start.
Yes Google Wallet is the name of the predecessor of Google Pay, and it’s the name of their peer to peer payments app in the USA and Singapore, and yes the Logo is the same logo, but what will it be now?
The current Google Pay app is so much more than payments, it is a digital wallet of sorts, and with the recent growth of digital vaccine records, digital tickets, digital car keys and digital drivers’ licence Wallet apps are becoming increasingly a bridge between the digital and physical world.
With that in mind, we think that a Digital Wallet app is exactly what Android needs, especially with Wear OS becoming more front of mind and getting some level of feature equity with phones. Maintaining the Google Pay branding to cover mobile payments, online payments and any other financial transactions also fit within the new ecosystem, Google Pay is now an element of the Google wallet.
Unlike many Google Services, the new Google Wallet is looking at a wide rollout across the globe mainly replacing the Google Pay app with India being a current exception. In Australia, we should see the app update “coming soon”. Overall we are excited about the change and will watch the Developer sessions around Google wallet with interest. We are expecting expanded functionality to become available as Google expands the Android Digital Wallet.