Google Pay App Is Going Away, Ending a Brief Era

Google has announced that the U.S. version of its standalone Google Pay app will be discontinued as of June 4. In a blog post, Google recommends that Android users henceforth access their Google Pay payment methods through their Google Wallet. The post notes that Google Wallet is used five times more often than the Google Pay app in the United States. 

Users will have access to the U.S. version of the Google Pay app to view and transfer a Google Pay balance to their bank accounts until June 4. After that, the Google Pay website can be used to transfer funds to bank accounts. For users who plan to take advantage of this, Google Support offers more details.  

The announcement also terminates Google Pay’s P2P payments service without specifying if or when that capability might be made available again. “You will no longer be able to send, request or receive money from others through the U.S. version of the Google Pay app,” the blog post says. 

Google expects users to seamlessly switch to using Google Wallet. “Anywhere you normally use Google Pay—from checking out online to tapping and paying in stores—remains the same,” the blog post notes.  

The change largely affects the United States. In India and Singapore, the Google Pay app remains unchanged.  

An Unsettled History 

The introduction of Google Wallet in 2022 was an indicator that the company would move toward consolidating its personal finance offerings.  Technically, that was a reintroduction: The Google Wallet name had been first used for the company’s mobile payment system, which was introduced in 2011. It merged with Android Pay in 2018 to become a new app called Google Pay.  

The reintroduced Google Wallet was designed to let users store their ID cards, health insurance cards, and various passes in one main digital wallet.  Google Pay was then launched in 2020 to create room for the Plex checking account product, which was announced in 2019 and discontinued in late 2021 after the departure of longtime payments leader Caesar Sengupta.   

“Today’s announcement basically finishes the combination of Pay and Wallet that was first announced in 2022 when the Wallet app was launched,” said Christopher Miller, Lead Analyst for Emerging Payments at Javelin Strategy & Research.  “Moving forward, Google is trying to consolidate U.S. users in the Wallet app as a hub for payments, loyalty cards, car and hotel keys, as well as a growing digital ID service. The changes will streamline the experience that U.S. users have while leaving unanswered the question of just how Google views payments within its broader financial services strategy.” 

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