Google is overhauling its digital wallet to make the service more convenient for end users. The new Google Wallet will allow people to store payment cards, identity cards, and other documents in a single consolidated location, and will also support mobile payments in a manner comparable to Google Pay.
In that regard, the enhanced Google Wallet will replace Google Pay in most of the countries that currently offer support for the service. Google Wallet and Google Pay will continue to exist as separate apps in the US, India, and Singapore, while only the former will be offered in the other 40 countries in which Google Pay is available. However, Google has not yet announced a launch date for the new Google Wallet and the subsequent Google Pay transition.
Those in the US, India, and Singapore will be able to make payments with either app once the new Google Wallet goes live. The Wallet will function on any device with Android 5.0 or better, and on any wearable running on Wear OS, making the app widely available to consumers across the entire Google and Android ecosystem.
To prevent fraud, Google claimed that financial institutions will verify the identities of people that try to add a debit or credit card to a mobile wallet. The step will ensure that fraudsters cannot add someone else’s payment details to a wallet in their control. The documents and cards stored in the Wallet will be stored locally on the device itself, and it will be possible to wipe that information remotely through the Android Find My Device service for an additional layer of security.
Users will be able to access the wallet using any unlocking method available on their device. Google listed vaccination records, mobile access credentials, tickets, school IDs, and digital car keys as some of the other items that could be stored in the expanded wallet.
The information in the wallet could be shared or verified through a QR code or an NFC connection. The wallet will also be compatible with other apps. For example, Google Maps could display the balance on someone’s transit card when they check a route, as long as that card is stored in the Google Wallet on the device they are using. They could also top up the transit card using payment information stored in the same place.
Google indicated that the Wallet will be built with an open ecosystem that encourages third-party integrations and eventually increases the overall utility of the solution. In most cases, those third parties will not need to pay for those integrations. Google itself is reportedly in talks with state and national governments to support initiatives like digital driver’s licenses.
On that front, Google is following in the footsteps of Apple, which has taken similar steps with its own wallet. Google suggested that it is moving forward with the rollout now because the support for digital documents is increasing in both the public and the private sector.