Google Wallet is rolling out to users and will coexist with Google Pay in the US

Google Wallet is rolling out to users and will coexist with Google Pay in the US

There's not much to see in Google Wallet, just the usual NFC interface and a few loyalty cards.
Enlarge / There’s not much to see in Google Wallet, just the usual NFC interface and a few loyalty cards.

Today is apparently the launch day for Google Wallet – Google’s fourth rebranding of its payment system. Users on Reddit report that the app was launched for them, and a version has surfaced on APKMirror if you choose to sideload. Google also launched a bunch of support pages related to wallet today.

Announced at Google I/O 2022, Google Wallet brings back the original Google Payments product name. Wallet originally existed from 2011 to 2015, then it became Android Pay, then Google Pay in 2018, and now Wallet 2022 is back. Google Pay has been on the market for a little over a year.

While the Google Pay brand has been around for more than a year, in March 2021 Google released an entirely new code base. This new version of Google Pay used the code base of “Google Tez”, a payment product developed for India. Compared to the older Google Pay, the New Google Pay had a lot of feature downfalls, like the loss of support for signing in to multiple devices, no support for multiple accounts, and no compatibility with anything that didn’t have a SIM card, which meant Google’s functionality paid website had to be removed.

The launch of Tez Google Pay was a disaster, prompting employee flight and the cancellation of public plans to launch Google bank accounts. It’s now a year later and it seems like most of the people involved in launching Tez Google Pay have left Google, and now the old app is back with a new lick of paint.

Google will have a payments app in most countries around the world except for the US and Singapore.

Google will have a payments app in most countries around the world except for the US and Singapore.

Google

The package name for Google Wallet is “com.google.android.apps.walletnfcrel” which means that Google Wallet is a direct upgrade for the old Google Pay app that forced Google to uninstall users in the US about a year ago. It would be great if Google just rolled everything back to the old codebase, but that’s not happening, at least not in the US. Internationally, Google has a great Google Wallet rollout plan. The disastrous launch of New Google Pay (Tez) only happened in the US and Singapore, so internationally there is only the old Google Pay (walletnfcrel), which is being replaced by Google Wallet. One app will be able to do all your Google Payments tasks like B. Tap and Pay and send money to contacts.

In the US and Singapore, Google seems unwilling to clean up the mess it made last year and wants the new Google Pay and Google Wallet apps to coexist. In all cases, it’s actually Google Play Services that handles tap-and-pay, while in the US, New Google Pay handles P2P payments (the feature where it’s exceptionally poor at, due to things like its lack of multi-account support). That leaves Google Wallet… Show loyalty cards? Be a shortcut for Google Play Services? Wallet doesn’t have much to do at the moment.

Consequently, there isn’t much to see in Wallet right now, just a regular NFC card interface, some loyalty cards, and a Metro card lookup. The non-money parts of Wallet are the things that Wallet will focus on going forward. Today, Wallet scans your email to find membership cards, and mine found cards I didn’t even know I still had, like a Best Buy loyalty card that hasn’t been used in probably 15 years. You can add student ID cards, COVID-19 vaccination cards, subway cards, and one day the app plans to support digital driver’s licenses and car keys.

Entry image from Google

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