The first day of Google I/O 2015 was filled with a ton of new announcements, including one that will make paying with your mobile phone much easier. The new platform is called Android Pay, and it aims to make paying for products, whether in person or online, as simple as possible. The technology involved in Android Pay builds on NFC and host card emulation, which will allow you to place your smartphone on an NFC terminal and complete the transaction – without the need to open any application whatsoever.
But, couldn’t Google Wallet do that already? Well, not without opening up the app first, but the two services basically complete the same functions. It sounds like Android Pay is trying to do what Wallet couldn’t. So if Pay is going to be the new payment standard on Android, what’s going to happen to Wallet? Well, a new post on the Google Wallet Google+ account is trying to help clear up this muddy situation.
According to the post, the Wallet service has seen a ton of growth in the number of people sending money to one another, whether that’s through Gmail or the Google Wallet application. So, Google Wallet is sticking around, and will receive a big revamp in the coming months that sounds like it will focus on payment transfers, as opposed to actually handling the payments themselves. Here’s a little taste as to what the new Wallet app will bring, as explained by the Wallet team:
The new app will allow anyone with a US debit card to send and receive money for free within minutes – even if the other person doesn’t have the app. The money you receive can either be directly sent to your bank account or it can be spent in stores using the Google Wallet card.
We would be lying if we said this whole situation wasn’t confusing. The introduction of Android Pay was a necessary step for Google to take on other services like Samsung Pay or Apple Pay, but Google didn’t really explain many details when it comes to the future of Wallet in yesterday’s keynote. Android Pay is expected to launch alongside Android M in Q3, so we might have to wait a bit longer until we understand Google’s true intentions.