Google had announced a ‘new and improved’ Google Wallet at Google I/O this year and now the upgraded version is finally rolling out to Android and Wear OS devices and users across 39 countries. Wherever applicable, the new Google Wallet will replace the existing Google Pay app.
However, in the US and in Singapore, users will continue to use Google Pay and Google Wallet, with the former sticking around for payments being made to friends. While XDA Developers mentions that this will apply to India too, the image shared by Google mentions that India will continue to use the Google Pay app as is.
Understandably, the Google Wallet is more a way of keeping valuable information like IDs, boarding passes, transit cards, loyalty cards, hotel keys, etc., stored in one place and it can also support a number of other items as well. Moreover, it can support vaccine cards now too, given the upgrades made over the pandemic.
And given so much important information needs to be protected, Google has backed the Google Wallet with Android security features like a password protection and facial recognition. Users of the new Google Wallet will also have their data stored and transmitted with encryption.
If users choose to connect the Google Wallet to other apps, the app can also store relevant data related to activities or events you might be attending via the other app in question. For example, the Google Wallet will be able to keep a tab on time and reservation changes of flights and also inform you if your transit cards have enough funds for a trip.
Google has rolled out several iterations of the Google Wallet over time, as The Verge points out. In 2011, the Google Wallet was an NFC payment app that was upgraded eventually to include other payment features like “peer-to-peer money transfers”, there was also a physical Google Wallet debit card around for a while.
By 2018, Google combined Google Wallet with Android Pay to create Google Pay and in some of the countries, right now with the new iteration, that is what is transforming back into Google Wallet.
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