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Google announced last month that it was bringing Android Pay and Google Wallet together under the new Google Pay brand. Today, the big rollout begins, with the new Google Pay-branded app now available through Google Play.
If you already have the Android Pay app installed, it appears you won’t need to do anything. However, the app currently still shows up as “Android Pay” on your phone, despite appearing as “Google Pay” through the Google Play store on the web. The transition is evidently still underway.
Google’s digital payment setup has so far been a little muddy, given that Android Pay was for online, in-app, and retail purchases using an Android phone, while Google Wallet was a P2P payment service for those with a debit card or bank account in the U.S. or U.K. and worked on Android and iOS.
Google Pay represents the company’s attempt to unify and simplify its digital payments service across the web, in apps, in stores, and through peer-to-peer (P2P) payments. It also constitutes the service formerly known as Pay With Google, which is an API that allows merchants to offer online shoppers a simpler way to enter their payment details at checkout.
Those in London, Kiev, and Portland will also be able to use Google Pay on public transport from today, and more cities will be added soon.
Though the official Google Pay rollout kicks off today, the company said it’s planning on adding new features further down the road and will eventually add support across “all Google Products,” including Google Assistant.
P2P payments aren’t yet available through Google Pay either, with the company noting that those in the U.S. and U.K. will be able to send and request money “within the next few months.” Indeed, the Google Wallet app is no more, and it will be rebranded as Google Pay Send, which is presumably a temporary makeover until the company manages to integrate its features into the core Google Pay app.
Today is just the first step in Google Pay’s big rollout. What this means is that you will start seeing the Google Pay sign everywhere, both online and in the physical world, where Android Pay has hitherto been made available.
Ultimately, Google wants you to automatically turn to Google Pay when making payments anywhere. So rather than designating Android Pay for in-store purchases, PayPal for one-tap shopping online, and Venmo for P2P payments, this amalgamation is designed to position Google Pay as a one-stop-shop for all your transactions.
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