Google Wallet: what it is, how it differs from Google Play, what options it offers, and how to install it

We are going to explain in depth everything you need to know about Google Wallet, Google’s new e-wallet app for making mobile payments. In addition to this payment function which integrates Google Pay, which is the app it replaces, Wallet also adds some other features that bring it closer to other payment apps such as Apple’s and Samsung’s.

We’re going to start the article by explaining to you what exactly Google Wallet is. Then, we’ll go on to tell you the differences it has compared to Google Pay. Next, we’re going to tell you how you can install the app, and then we’ll tell you what its current and future features are, and how you can add the different card types it supports.

What is Google Wallet

Google Wallet

Google Wallet is a digital wallet application created by Google for any Android device. With it, the search engine company creates a direct rival to the Samsung Wallet of the Korean manufacturer and the Apple Wallet that we can find on Apple devices.

The wallet is an application that you can install on your mobile and serves many functions. It is just like a wallet and serves to carry both your debit card and other various cards such as loyalty cards, but all in a digital way.

Google Wallet comes to Android as a replacement for the Google Pay app. However, it is not simply a system to substitute another, since Google Wallet integrates Google Pay payments and adds other options, so it is as if an application happens to be inside the other.

Currently, this is an application that you can install on any Android phone that has Google services, which are the majority. Perhaps the manufacturer of your mobile has a similar application as is the case of Samsung, so in that case, you would have to decide which of them suits you more.

Differences between Google Wallet and Google Pay

Googl Pay and Google Wallet

Google Wallet is an application that integrates Google’s payment system, which is called Google Pay. Therefore, they are not alternative applications, but Google Pay is within Google Wallet as one of its options. Of course, in the app store, Google Pay will now no longer appear and will become Wallet, it is as if one had eaten the other.

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Google Pay is a payment system that only serves to pay, and its mobile application simply served to make payments with the NFC chip of your mobile. You integrated your card into Google Pay, and then you could use your phone to pay at establishments without having to take out your card. Simply put, it’s always easier to keep your phone close to your hand, so you don’t have to look for your physical wallet.

The difference is that Google Wallet integrates Google Pay and includes other options. In addition to being able to pay, in the application, you can also incorporate transportation cards, loyalty cards, and gift cards. In addition, you can also include other elements such as the COVID passport.

Therefore, it is a more complete application, although it all depends on how much you are going to need to use all these other types of cards. Also, keep in mind that this is just the first step for the app and that Google is preparing many other features such as sending money to friends that will arrive soon. We will talk about these a little later.

Otherwise, in both cases all data is centralized in your Google account, making it easy to migrate them from one device to another. Thus, you will not lose your data when you switch phones. In addition to this, NFC is used for payments by bringing the mobile close to the dataphone.

How to install Google Wallet

There are two ways to install Google Wallet. The main one is to download it through the Android app store. At the time of writing this article, the update has not yet arrived, but you simply need to have the Google Pay app installed and, in the next update, it will be automatically replaced by Google Wallet. It will be a normal update.

And the second method is to install the app manually. For this, you will have to download and install the APK file of the app. You can download this file from APK Mirror. This is the same Google Pay app but updated and with the name change.

Here, you should know that Google Wallet is a free application. In case you opt for the APK file, you just have to download it and proceed to install it by launching the file, although if you have never installed one, your mobile may ask you to grant permission to the browser or file explorer application you use to install apps downloaded from outside Google Play, as these can become dangerous.

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Available and Future Features

Card Collection

Below, we will tell you which are the current functions that this application has. At the moment there are only a few, but as you will see, we will add those that are coming later.

  • Payment card: You can add debit or credit cards and pay with your cell phone via NFC, in a similar way to how you pay with chip cards. Here is the list of banks compatible with Google Wallet.
  • Transport card: This allows you to add public transport cards to your phone to use NFC to swipe them. The transport card system must be compatible.
  • Loyalty: You can add loyalty cards, and then it will show the barcode or QR code to swipe them. There are many compatible cards for supermarkets, gas stations, transport agencies, cinemas, stores, and department stores.
  • Gift card: You can add gift cards from various stores.
  • Password manager: Google Wallet also has the option to access all the passwords you have saved in your Google account, so you can consult and use them at any time.
  • Payment with the watch: Google Wallet also has an application for smartwatches, and that allows you to pay with your wrist when you use it in the compatible models.

Now, we are going to tell you what are features that are coming in the future, and that will make this app even more useful. There is still no estimated date for their arrival.

  • Payment to other users: You will be able to use Wallet to send money directly to other users, something similar to Bizum.
  • Storage of identity documents: It will allow you to add documents that identify you, such as your ID card. For this, the public administration will have to support the application.
  • Storage of digital keys: It will allow you to store digital keys for cars or home locks so that you can open them by bringing your cell phone close to them. Its arrival will depend on the support provided by the manufacturers.
  • Support for health certificates: You will be able to save certificates such as COVID or other health documents that will be supported in the future.
  • Add passes via QR: Google Wallet will add an option to scan the QR code of boarding passes, loyalty cards, or health certificates to add them directly quickly, and easily.
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How to add cards to Wallet

Add cards on Wallet

To add new cards to Wallet you have to enter the application and, within the main screen where you already see the cards you have linked, click on the Add to Wallet option that you have in the bottom right corner.

This will take you to a screen where you can choose what type of item you want to add to the Google card. How to proceed will depend on the type of card you want to add, they are different procedures.

If you choose to add a payment card you will be taken to a screen with the cards linked to your account to add them directly. If you want to add a new one, click on the New credit or debit card option to scan your card with the camera and proceed with the verification.

When it does, you will be taken to a screen where you have to fill in your personal and card details, adding items such as the signature code. Then, accept the conditions and make sure you have a screen lock, and you will have to finish the procedure by verifying your identity with the bank’s app of the card you are adding. If you don’t have the app, you will have the option to call by phone number.

If you want to add other types of cards, when you click on one of these types you will see the list of compatible cards that you will be able to add. When you click on one of them, a scanner will open with the mobile camera with which you will have to point to the code of your loyalty or gift card to add it.

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