Before Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, or even Android Pay, there was Google Wallet. But it was probably way ahead of its time? For whatever reasons, it did not really catch up and then Apple Pay came along. To compete with came Android Pay from Google, and the digital Wallet took a back-seat. Android Pay became Google’s main virtual mobile payment platform, meanwhile, Google Wallet became an app that allows 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 – competing with the likes of Square Cash, Venmo and PayPal.
Though the Google Wallet app is of course still available for Android and iOS, Google announced a fresh launch of the Google Wallet website, giving the service its own defined place as Android Pay continues to expand.
Google Wallet website on Mobile
The new Google Wallet web interface actually closely mimics the experience you find in the native Android app, although you don’t get the added benefits of faster performance, quick log-in via PIN code or notifications. This seems to be more of a compliment to the iOS and Android apps than a full-blown website or web app for the times you don’t have your phone around or are just too lazy to reach out for it. That function had been in limbo since the introduction of Android Pay, leaving you to only be able to send and receive money via the mobile apps and within Gmail.
The web app is unmistakably Google – it has a simple form in the middle, surrounded by Material Design elements. You set the amount, specify who the recipient is, and click send. It’s as simple as that.
The separation of Google Wallet from Android Pay and Google Payments makes sense considering their completely different mission and use, and thankfully now Google Wallet has a definitive place to live on both your phone and the web.