Google has been working since last month to streamline its various financial apps (namely Google Wallet and Android Pay) under Google Pay brand, and now it has completed that particular job with rollout of an update to Android Pay. The new update to Android Pay will rebrand it as Google Pay in your phone, and also bring a few new features that can make it more useful.
The Google Wallet app has also been updated with the name of Google Pay Send. US and UK based users, however, will be able to send and request money from within the Google Pay app after some time. Those who want to use Google Pay can download the app now from Play Store, and those who were already using Android Pay will be updated to Google Pay in next few days. With that in mind, now let’s take a look on what this new app will bring to your device:
The App: Old Wine in New Bottle
There’s not a lot of new stuff in Google Pay that can make it different from Android Pay, except for its name, logo and a new design that looks more streamlined with Material design UI of Android. Another minor difference is addition of relevant stores that accept Google Pay to the Home screen of app. The relevance of these stores is determined by your purchasing behavior – the more you use Google Pay, the more relevant stores you’ll be shown in the home screen. Your recent transactions are also shown on the home screen.
Besides that, however, everything is same. There’s not any new feature in the app that can make it significantly different from Android Pay. You can also add your loyalty cards to Google Pay just as you could in Android Pay.
Making Google Pay More Mainstream
While there’s not much difference between how Android Pay users would use Google Pay, there’re some things that company has done differently this time to make Google Pay more mainstream. The two major changes among them are as follows:
- Users don’t necessarily need to install Google Pay on their phone to get started with it. If they’ve the app of a Google partner bank on their phone, that may also work. For example, Bank of America’s app will allow its customers to set up Google Pay right inside it. Once set, users can use Google Pay from within the BoA app to make payments.
- Similarly, if an app or website wants to accept payments via Google Pay, it can do so easily by calling a Google API. The API will then check whether the user of app/website has Google Pay enabled in his/her account or not. If enabled, the user can be allowed to make payment to the website/app.
A number of apps and websites have already started accepting payments through Google Pay with help of this API method. They include Airbnb, Hotel Tonight, DoorDash and others. Now it will be interesting to see how successful Google remains in making it more popular.