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Google Wallet and Google Pay will co-exist in this country

Google Wallet will store tickets and passes in India, while the Google Pay app will be used for payments.

Published onMay 8, 2024

Google Wallet logo on smartphone next to credit cards and cash Stock photo 3
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
  • Google Wallet is now available in India, where it can be used as a digital wallet for storing passes, tickets, and more, but not for payments.
  • The app will coexist alongside the Google Pay app in India, which will continue to handle payment functionality through cards and UPI.
  • Globally, Google Wallet has integrated Google Pay’s payment functionality within itself, so users only have to use the Google Wallet app.

Google is infamous for its confused ecosystem strategy, and the Google Wallet and Google Pay apps are prime examples of said confusion. At an event in India today, Google launched the Google Wallet app for the country, but it will coexist alongside the Google Pay app.

Google Wallet in India

Google Wallet in India (2)
Adamya Sharma / Android Authority

Google has officially launched Google Wallet in India. The Wallet app will allow users to store boarding passes, gift cards, loyalty cards, event cards, movie tickets, car keys, access cards, and even provide transit OTAs.

Expanding on the above, this is what you can do with Google Wallet in India:

  • Save movie and event tickets with partners PVR and Inox
  • Access boarding passes with airline partners Air India, Air India Express, and online travel companies MakeMyTrip, EaseMyTrip, and Ixigo.
  • Redeem loyalty or gift cards with shopping partners Flipkart  (Supercoins), Dominos, Shoppers Stop, and brands supported by loyalty program enablers like Pinelabs, EasyRewardz, and Twid.
  • Store your transit tickets when traveling with partners Kochi Metro, Hyderabad Metro, VRL Travels, and Abhibus.
  • Use your Android phone as your corporate badge with system integrator partners like Wavelynx and Alert Enterprise.
  • Digitize physical documents that contain a barcode or QR code, like luggage tags or parking receipts.
  • Automatically view important tickets from Gmail, whenever you get a confirmation email for movie tickets, IPL tickets, or train tickets, provided you have smart personalization settings in Gmail turned on.
Google Wallet in India (1)
Adamya Sharma / Android Authority

Google Pixel devices sold in India will come preloaded with the Google Wallet app. Users can also add Google Wallet as a lock screen shortcut, allowing for quick and easy access. Further, Pixel users can quickly add boarding passes to their Google Wallet by taking a screenshot and tapping the “Add to Google Wallet.”

Sadly, Google also confirmed that Google Wallet is not extending to wearables in India. So, the stored data in Google Wallet will remain accessible only through your phone.

Google Pay will coexist alongside Google Wallet in India

You might have noticed that payment-related functionality seems weirdly absent from Google Wallet in India. That is because the Google Wallet app will coexist alongside the popular Google Pay app in India.

Google Pay will remain the primary use case for payments in the country, while Google Wallet is a digital store of access information. No payments will be done through Google Wallet in India. If you want to add a card or pay through your phone’s NFC, you will have to use the Google Pay app, which supports this functionality.

Google keeps complicating Google Wallet and Google Pay in its ecosystem

Google first launched Wallet in 2011 and then launched Android Pay in 2015. In 2018, Android Pay and Google Wallet were merged into a single app called Google Pay.

Separately, Google launched Tez, a mobile payments service, in 2017 in India, specifically targeting UPI payments. Google Tez was then rebranded into Google Pay in 2018. At this point, there existed Google Pay and Google Pay (Tez) apps for Android users, demarcated by where you live.

Then, in 2022, Google launched Google Wallet globally as a digital wallet platform, mentioning that the Google Pay app will update to Google Wallet. However, Google Pay would coexist with Google Wallet in the US and Singapore. In India, Google Pay (the Tez version) would exist without any wallet functionality.

Google Wallet 3
Joe Hindy / Android Authority

Now, in 2024, Google announced earlier in the year that Google Pay in the US would be shut down in June, with its functionality largely replaced and integrated into Google Wallet. The Google Pay app will remain only in Singapore and India.

In India, Google Pay is very popular as a payment platform for daily UPI payments through QR codes, so I can see why Google would want the branding to remain. But today, Google Wallet has been launched in the country, bringing us back to a situation where both apps coexist (but only in India and Singapore). For the rest of the world, everything is now within the Google Wallet app.

You can see how confusing the whole ordeal is. We hope Google remains committed to simplifying its branding and following a more cohesive app strategy.

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