Google is allegedly resurrecting Google Wallet, but not the way we think

Google Wallet could be making a comeback, but it will not be the way we think (via Android Authority). On Twitter, Esper’s Senior Technical Editor, Mishaal Rahman, posted that Google Wallet is coming back from the dead, not as a standalone app, but as a “Wallet” interface within Google Play Services. The goal of the change is to provide a way to access and manage your payment, transit, and other cards that are part of your digital wallet.

But wait, isn’t Google Pay already doing that? Yeah, it does. According to Rahman, you will continue to use Google Pay to make payments, and Wallet will be where you will keep your cards.

But how will you access this Wallet interface? From Rahman’s screenshots, we assume that the new UI will be accessible directly from the Google Pay app. Also, one of the screenshots says, “learn how passes in your Wallet will appear across Google.” This may mean that the cards stored in Wallet could be accessible on other Google services as well.In 2011, Google created Google Wallet to function as an NFC payment app and as a place to store your digital cards. But in 2018, it combined Google Wallet and Android Pay and created Google Pay. From there on, Google Pay became the app for making NFC payments and the place from which you can manage your digital wallet.

So, if Google Pay already does this, then why bring Wallet back? It seems like a branding choice to make it more obvious which UI does what. Google Pay would be strictly the service we use for payments. And there will be the Google Wallet, where we can manage payment cards, loyalty cards, vouchers, and tickets.

This push to bring back the Wallet branding may also indicate that Google is planning to enhance its functionality – who knows, maybe support for driver’s licenses a-la Apple Wallet?

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