Nowhere near as prominent among the world’s digital wallet platforms as Apple Pay, despite working with any Android device running 4.4 KitKat and up, Android Pay is being reborn and rebranded as Google Pay.
The new name makes a lot more sense, especially as it also integrates the old Google Wallet functionality, but apart from that, a “fresh of coat of paint”, and a pretty aggressive marketing campaign, very little seems to have changed.
Previewed roughly a month and a half ago, Google Pay is beginning its actual global rollout today, replacing the Android Pay app in Google Play to provide “fast, simple checkout”, “easy access to rewards and offers”, as well as “one spot for purchases, passes, and payment methods.”
The more exciting part of what Google’s Consumer Payments division has planned is probably Google Pay support for “all Google products”, including the Chrome browser and shopping done with the help of the search giant’s voice-commanded Assistant.
For the time being, Big G insists on highlighting a familiar but certainly convenient new Home tab where you can get the Google Pay info “you need, right when you need it.” Specifically, details of all your recent purchases, quick access to rewards, “helpful tips”, and perhaps most interesting of all, nearby stores that accept Google Pay as a checkout method.
There are apparently millions of places around the world where you can pay for stuff using cards saved to your Google account, with your banking info kept under lock and key at all times.
“Within the next few months”, the rebranded mobile payment service will gradually make its way across the US and UK, while the Wallet app is now technically called Google Pay Send… for some reason. And just when we thought things were getting easier to keep track of.