During the 2022 Google I/O event, Google announced that it is bringing back its Google Wallet app, which will now co-exist with Google Pay in the US, enhancing Google’s mobile commerce ecosystem.
Google (View Company Profile) first launched Wallet in 2011 as an NFC-based mobile payment solution. But due to the lack of NFC-capable phones and retail business support, in 2015 the company introduced the more applicable Android Pay, relegating the app to a peer-to-peer payments system. In 2018, Android Pay and Google Wallet were merged into the company’s present-day mobile payment app – Google Pay.
Google Wallet is back!
Following in Apple’s footsteps, the company is now offering two mobile payment solutions with integrated purposes – Google Wallet and Google Pay.
At (re)launch time, Wallet will act as a repository of not just the consumer’s credit cards and transit passes but also gift cards, boarding passes, vaccine cards, and even digital car keys and IDs. In fact, Google announced that as long as a card has some text, a barcode or a QR code, it can be saved as a generic card by the end user, enabling them to go wallet-free by storing their car, home and office keys as well as their IDs in a single app. Google is also launching APIs that will allow developers to integrate Wallet with related apps, allowing those apps to issue automated alerts regarding travel or flight schedules based on the documents stored in the Wallet.
Google Pay, on the other hand, will allow secure payments and money transfers between users, complimenting the Wallet app.
Benefits of dual branding
The dual branding is simple and in sync with rivals’ initiatives (namely Apple) allowing users to understand the portfolio well – Wallet will store the digital version of physical cards, while Pay makes payments.
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This proposed tight integration with Google’s ecosystem will make the app an integral cog in the wheel of services, and upcoming feature updates will only strengthen its appeal. This was a warranted move for Google if it wanted to remain competitive in the mobile commerce space as Apple has already announced or launched many of the initiatives proposed for Google Wallet.
Relevance and innovative use case scenarios are critical for uptake and continued usage, and Google seems to be on track this time by allowing Wallet to be integrated with complimentary apps and services, offering users a strong reason to adopt. Google’s latest initiatives are not only expanding the applicability of mobile wallets, but they are also setting standards that existing and new entrants should aim to attain if they wish to remain competitive. We are likely to see similar initiatives from other providers such as Samsung Pay, which are constantly looking for new ways to better integrate services in their portfolio, giving users more reasons to stay within their ecosystem.