This week, Google rolled out their newest feature for Android operating systems, which they are calling ‘Google Pay.’ With this new release, the tech giant is replacing the existing Android Pay and Google Wallet apps by effectively consolidating the two. While the launch of Google Pay does not include a significant overhaul of the functionality of its predecessors, the app features a new design that is more closely aligned with their brand’s unmistakably familiar aesthetic.

With the widespread success of Apple Pay, it is clear that Google intends to push the envelope further, paving the way for Google Pay to be integrated into every facet of their technology. This includes products like Chrome, which you can expect to effortlessly link to Google Pay in the not-so-distant future. In the meantime, Google has made an attempt to limit apprehension to using the new app by keeping many of the existing functions in Android Pay and Google Wallet.

What’s The Same

As previously stated, Google Pay is designed to perform many of the same processes as the apps it is replacing. This includes functions like simple checkout for online shopping, balance tracking, gift card management, linking and support for your debit card and bank account, and rewards point reminders. This way, those who have been using Android Pay or Google Wallet for years can rest assured that their usual mobile pay routine is not disrupted.

Just as before, Google Pay can be used to make purchases at a variety of locations across the globe, provided that they accept mobile payment options. In all likelihood, Google will attempt to expand the reach of Google Pay by simplifying the payment method and enticing more stores throughout the world to begin accepting mobile payments.

What’s New

Despite the fact that Google Pay offers many of the same functions as Android Pay, there are a handful of new features which are available now. Most notably, Google Pay has a new Home tab which serves as a central hub for all other functionality within the app. Here, you can track recent purchases, rewards points, and gift card balances all in one place. Additionally, the new Home tab offers a list of nearby stores who will accept mobile payment. One click on the Home tab is a similarly-designed Cards tab, which allows you to access credit or debit card balances without storing your private number or card information on the phone itself.

Google Pay includes an upgrade to add payment for public transportation such as trains, buses, or subways in countries all around the world. Google has also published a series of YouTube videos to coincide with the release of Google Pay which includes in-app tutorials and details on security and encryption features.

On The Horizon

Although the details concerning the company’s vision for Google Pay remain relatively unclear, Android users can expect to see big things from the app in the coming year. One thing we do know for sure is that Google is intent on integrating peer-to-peer payment options into Google Pay. This type of functionality is in high demand for companies like Google and Apple, especially given the fact that PayPal’s Venmo app is currently leading the charge on peer-to-peer payments.

For now, Google has revamped their existing Google Wallet app, renaming it Google Pay Send and introducing a peer-to-peer payment feature. The expectation, however, is that Google Pay will absorb this functionality in due time as a way to fully consolidate all prominent payment features into one place.

No matter what undisclosed features Google has in store for us, it is clear that they are taking steps toward revolutionizing the way that we pay for things both online and in person. With eCommerce representing a higher percentage of total retail sales every year, the trend toward digital payment methods is most certainly here to stay. Technology giants like Google and Apple are acutely aware of this fact, meaning that consumers should expect to see a perpetual increase in the functionality of their mobile payment apps in the near future.

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