Google revealed this week that it’s revamping how tap-to-pay purchases, card management, and passes work on Android devices. It’s all a bit complicated, but generally sounds like an improvement.
Google Pay can already be used on Android to manage cards for digital purchases, tap-to-pay at stores, send and receive money from friends, and store digital versions of certain types of passes and cards (e.g. Bus passes, rewards cards for retail shops, etc. More recently, Google rolled out an entirely new Pay app, with a greater focus on organizing spending data and store rewards programs.
Google is switching up how payments work on Android again, and the exact experience will vary by country. The tap-to-pay functionality and card scanning will be transferred to a separate Google Wallet application in the United States and Singapore. This is confusing for Android users (Google Pay was previously known as Google Wallet), but it follows Apple’s current strategy. iPhones have a Wallet app for storing loyalty cards, transport passes, drivers’ licenses, and other data on the phone, while Apple Pay exclusively handles card payments (both in-person and online).
The United States and Singapore will be the only two countries where Google Pay and Wallet will co-exist as two distinct apps, at least for now. India will not receive the new Wallet app, while in the rest, Google Wallet will completely replace Pay.
The new Wallet app will continue to have all of your tap-to-pay payment cards, just as the current version Google Pay. However, the ultimate goal is for it to store everything that you might keep in a physical pocket. This includes bus tickets, plane tickets, store cards/rewards program, gift cards and vaccine cards.
Much functionality is already available with Pay, but Google wants Wallet more accessible. More phones will have a Wallet option on their lock screen (Pixels already have it for Pay), and related items in the app. Google took the example of a concert to illustrate how you could have parking tickets, event tickets and food vouchers that need to be stored in one place. You can also copy passes from Gmail or Google Photos to Wallet.
The good news is that all stores, apps and services that use Google Pay will continue to work as usual in the new Wallet app. Google is also adding the abi