Google Wallet makes its official comeback, to replace Google Pay in most regions
The Google Wallet app is back to sort of replace Google Pay, but not really.
What you need to know
- Google has announced its reimagined digital wallet with the new Google Wallet app.
- Google Wallet will hold payment cards, loyalty cards, transit passes, digital car keys, and more.
- Google Wallet will replace Google Pay in most countries, while working in tandem with the app in the U.S. and Singapore.
- The app will be available "soon" on both Android and Wear OS devices.
Google Wallet is now official — again — as the company's latest effort to create a comprehensive digital wallet for its mobile platforms.
The app will act as a secure way to digitally store items like payment cards, passes, IDs, and more. This may sound a lot like what Google Pay can already do, but Google emphasizes Google Pay's role as a payments and financial management app for P2P payments and financial insights. Meanwhile, the company's plans for the new Wallet app are much more grandiose.
In addition to payment cards and passes, Google sees Wallet as a way to keep up with a world where more items are becoming digitized for easier access from our mobile devices. For example, Wallet will be able to store digital car keys, boarding passes, vaccine cards, student IDs, and more. Eventually, Google plans to support hotel room keys, digital driver's licenses, and office badges. Pretty much whatever developers want to digitize, Google wants to support.
Not only will this become the one-stop digital shop for everything you might otherwise carry in your wallet or pocket, but it will also enable helpful contextual updates and even connect these essentials to some of the apps you use most. For example, your stored boarding pass will update you on any delays or changes to your travel plans, or the app will notify you of an upcoming concert you saved tickets for. Google Wallet will also connect with Google Maps to display your transit card and balance when you look up directions using public transportation.
Google says users will be able to add cards to Wallet from the Google Pay app. Users will also be able to add boarding passes and event tickets to Wallet by taking screenshots of the items from the best Android phones.
As for availability, most countries will notice their Google Pay app transform into Google Wallet, complete with a new look. However, in countries where the new Google Pay app is available (the U.S. and Singapore), Wallet will arrive separately to complement the Google Pay app.
Google did not mention India in its rollout plans for Wallet, saying that users in the country "will continue to use their Google Pay app they are familiar with today." However, Google notes that it will continue to expand on Pay's capabilities for P2P payments, transactions, offers, and more for the countries that currently support the app.
Google also did not specify when the new Wallet app will be available but noted that it is "coming soon," meaning we could likely see it arrive over the summer or alongside the Android 13 update.
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Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.