What is Google Pay and Google Wallet?

Definition: Google’s application for managing payments
What is Google Pay and Google Wallet?

Von Blue Floyd

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Google Wallet for smartphones and smartwatches expands the functionality of Google Pay and integrates new features into the app of the same name. Payments in stores, travel data protection, document integration and more.

Google Pay is the US company Google's mobile payment system for Android devices.  Google Wallet extends the payment program with useful functions.
Google Pay is the US company Google’s mobile payment system for Android devices. Google Wallet extends the payment program with useful functions.

(Photo: Public Domain © Gerd Altmann / Pixabay)

Google Wallet is an app for smartphones that, among other things, allows you to make contactless payments in stores with your smartphone. The service was previously known as Google Pay, but in 2022 Google has added this term to Google Wallet in many countries. The wallet app clearly surpasses the range of features of the previous paid app.

How Google Wallet works

Google Wallet was unveiled at Google I/O 2022, an internal developer conference. and released on July 18 of the same year. The goal of this new development is to significantly expand the range of functions. Google Pay primarily used for wireless payments in stores using special terminals and NFC technology. Google Wallet goes way beyond that and will collect and process a lot more data if the plans are fully implemented. Google Pay stores and processes payment for in-app transactions.

Google Money features

The wallet app can not only manage money, but also store data such as:

  • Various cards such as club and store membership cards, customer cards, trading cards and many similar products.
  • Transportation data and cards, for example in the form of airline tickets or key cards that can be used to unlock cars, bicycle locks and similar vehicles. Opening the doors of the house and apartment would also be possible with the corresponding key cards, which are digitally stored in the wallet app.
  • Identification documents such as driver’s licenses, passports, ID cards and similar official documents. For this, the relevant countries must also support this feature.
  • Health-related documents such as certificates of vaccination against COVID-19 active substances can be recorded in the app. If you already use Google Wallet, you won’t need to use other external apps. Other health-related documents (eg disability certificates) are also available.
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Similar to a real wallet, the wallet app allows users to store not only money, but also important documents for their daily life.


At the time of the app’s launch, Google Wallet was available in 38 countries, including Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Meanwhile (August 2022), this list has grown to 45 countries. The app requires Android or Google Wear OS for smartwatches and similar products to be installed. Google Wallet is not compatible with iOS and other operating systems.

It should be noted that Google Wallet works slightly differently depending on the operating system. Android users have a full range of features. Wear OS, on the other hand, only allows you to use Google Wallet for NFC payments, such as paying bills at supermarkets. Cards, tickets, passports, and similar documents cannot be stored in the Wear OS Wallet app.

Payment function via Google Wallet

In order to make payment requests with Google Wallet in everyday life, the app must be linked to a compatible payment service. This includes, for example, the two major credit card issuers Visa and Mastercard, which are connected to the app in the Google Wallet interface. This requires user permission. Other supported payment providers vary by country, such as Germany offering PayPal, a popular provider in the country.

Many Germans…

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