Google Consolidates Android Pay, Wallet Under Single Brand

New Google Pay app for Android is part of an effort by the company to enable a consistent payment experience across its products and services.

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Google has unified its mobile and web payment services under a single brand as part of a broader effort to enable a more consistent payment experience across its products. 

Effective this week, Google's new Google Pay app for Android has replaced the company's previously separate Android Pay and Google Wallet apps. Users can use credit and debit cards saved to their Google Account with the new Google Pay app.

Google is currently working on enabling support for Google Pay across all Google products said Gerardo Capiel, product management director for consumer payments and Varouj Chitilian, engineer director for consumer payments at Google. The goal is to ensure that people shopping on Chrome or via Google Assistant-driven services will have the same checkout experience as Android users. 

Google is also working with retailers, developers and online partners to embed Google Pay on sites, within mobile apps and at physical locations around the world, the two Google managers said in a blog Feb. 20. 

Google's effort to unite its payment services under the Pay brand is designed to enable a quicker, safer and more consistent checkout experience for users. The company has said that having a consolidated payment app will also make it easier for users to access rewards and promotional offers and pay for purchases and services. 

Google Pay mitigates the need for users to file online payment forms each time they want to pay for an online purchase. Instead Google Pay enables users complete purchases with a "few quick clicks," according to the company. 

"Google Pay’s new Home tab gives you the info you need, right when you need it," Capiel and Chitilians said. For example, the home tab gives users information on recent purchases, provides quick access to rewards information and can help users find nearby stores. A Cards tab offers a location for users to store credit and debit card information, loyalty program details, rewards and promotional offers that can be redeemed at purchase. 

In addition to online and in-store purchases, consumers will be able to use Google Pay for transit services. Starting this week users in a handful of cities such as London, Portland and Kiev can pay for transit rides at the turnstile with Google Pay. The same capability will become available in other cities soon, according to Google. In addition, in the next few months, consumers in the U.S. and UK will be able to use Google Pay to send and receive money. 

One new security feature that Google is touting with Pay is the use of tokens for in-store transactions. Unlike Android Pay, when users want to pay for something at a physical store Google Pay does not share the user's actual credit card data with the merchant. Instead, the merchant receives a token—in this case a unique encrypted number—that can be used to securely complete the transaction, according to Google. 

Google says the company has made it relatively straight forward process for developers, business owners and web site operators to accept Google Pay transactions. Fewer than 10 lines of code are required to set up Google Pay on a website, according to Google. 

App developers can work with Google's processor partners to enable Google Pay support in their applications. Several major payment-processing firms support the Google Pay Application Programming Interface (API) including Braintree, Worldpay, EBANX and Adven. Several others are expected to follow suit including First Data, Global Payments and Square, Google said. 

Jaikumar Vijayan

Jaikumar Vijayan

Vijayan is an award-winning independent journalist and tech content creation specialist covering data security and privacy, business intelligence, big data and data analytics.