Google Wallet Launches as Google Pay Sidekick

Google Wallet, rebrand, Google Pay

Google has launched Google Wallet, the company’s fourth rebrand of its payment system, bringing back the original name that existed from 2011 to 2015.

The system was renamed as Android Pay in 2015, then became Google Pay in 2018 before returning to the Wallet brand, Ars Technica reported Monday (July 19). Google Pay has been on the market for a little more than a year and will remain in the U.S. even with the return of Google Wallet.

The 2021 release of Google Pay led to a mass exodus of Google employees and the cancellation of public plans to roll out Google bank accounts, the report noted.

Behind the scenes, Google Play Services handles the service’s tap-and-pay functionality, while in the U.S., Google Pay will handle peer-to-peer (P2P) payments. Google Wallet can also hold loyalty cards and operate as a shortcut for Google Play Services, per the report.

The fledgling new version of Google Wallet features an NFC card interface, a robust loyalty card search capability and a metro card search function, and the service will focus on some of the non-financial parts of the offering in the future. That includes adding student IDs, COVID-19 vaccination cards and eventually offering support for digital driver’s licenses and car keys.

In related company news, Bill Ready, Google’s former president of commerce, left the company in late June to become CEO and board member of Pinterest, replacing Ben Silbermann, the co-founder, CEO and president of the company, who will transition to the new executive chairman role.

Related: Google Head of Commerce Bill Ready to Succeed Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann

Ready, an eCommerce expert, had been Google’s president of commerce since 2020, and was in charge of the company’s vision, strategy and delivery of commerce products. He was also in charge of various leadership roles for PayPal, including being executive vice president and chief operating officer.

“There’s no better time to join Pinterest,” Ready said. “Having built multiple businesses from zero and operated at the scale of billions of users, I have a deep appreciation for what it takes to scale a business like this to the next level.”