The official Android payment application changes its name and expands its functions: from Google Pay to Google Wallet. With the movement not only a renaming is proposed, but also a complete redesign of the application and a change in Google’s strategy: apart from mobile payments, Wallet aspires to become a complete virtual wallet.
Paying with an Android phone is simple and varied, not in vain several banks include your own contactless transaction method within your app. Even the Bizum service has become an excellent payment platform: apart from sending money to other users, said Bizum allows paying at merchants that have joined. Of course: like the single ring, there is an Android app that dominates them all, Google Pay. No, lie: now it’s Google Wallet.
A great change that, for the moment, remains in aesthetics
With the evolution to Google Wallet, which could very well be involution if you look only at the name (Google Pay was already Wallet before moving to Android Pay, ancestor of Google Pay itself), Spanish users will notice a big change in design, but not much else: the great new features of the platform are left out. At least for now.
Google Wallet anticipates a centralized digital wallet for Android just like Apple Wallet is for iPhone. In fact, it is noticeable to the league that Google has set its sights on the competition to evolve its payment application. Nothing strange, on the other hand: it was the natural evolution of Google Pay.
Wallet doesn’t appear as such in the Google Play Store yet, but it can be downloaded without problems from sites like App Mirror to update the Google Pay app. It is a safe step that opens the door to the use of the new app.
Once Google Pay has been updated, the redesign that Wallet brings is striking. The hidden menu on the left of the screen, with the typical icon of the three stripes, disappears in Wallet to offer all the cards added, and the option to incorporate new ones, on a single screen. The rest of the options are in the avatar of the Google account registered with Wallet, at the top right.
The method of adding cards does not change with respect to Google Pay (in fact it is the same, it puts “Pay” at the top of the process): can be added by scanning the card with the camera or manually entering all the data. Nor does the list of entities compatible with Google Wallet change.
Apart from bank cards, the new app maintains compatibility with loyalty cards, gift cards and public transport passes. Everything that is added to Wallet will be synchronized in the Google account so you don’t get lost when changing phones or registering the payment service on more mobiles apart from the main one. Bank cards will always have to be reconfirmed: they need to be activated in each Google Wallet app.
Google Wallet incorporates access to management of passwords saved in the Google account, this feature is available in Spain and was not in Google Pay. And it doesn’t offer support for passes and boarding passes in Passbook, Apple Wallet’s (and more standardized) format. Whoever wants to incorporate these cards into Google Wallet must use intermediate applications.
What’s coming next with Google Wallet
The jump to Google Wallet is a first step on the way to turning the payment app into a complete mobile wallet. This update doesn’t bring any real benefits to users apart from the ever-welcome cosmetic upgrade (and direct access to saved Google account passwords), but it does open the door to all the future changes to come. They are the following:
- Storage of identity documents. Wallet will make it easier to replace the wallet since it will store the documents that identify the user. As is often the case, administrations will have to support it.
- Digital key storage. Car and house keys will also have their place in Google Wallet: it will be enough to bring the mobile closer to the knob for the door to open. As in the previous point, manufacturers must support it.
- Support for health certificates. The Covid Certificate can be saved directly in Google Wallet; as well as other future health documents.
- Payments to other users. Like Bizum, Wallet will enable the exchange of money between individuals.
- Incorporation of passes with scanning the QR. Google Wallet will allow you to add boarding passes, loyalty cards or health certificates just by capturing the QR codes of said documents.