Google Wallet is coming back as a standalone feature, the company announced at its I/O 2022 keynote today. Wallet will be the place to store digital versions of cards and other personal documents, while Google Pay will remain the place for contactless payments. Wallet will store payment cards, transit passes, memberships, tickets, airline travel information and vaccine passports, among other documents. You'll be able to make payments in-store with Google Wallet anywhere Pay is accepted.
Google will start rolling out the new Wallet to Android and Wear OS devices in the coming weeks. The company has plans to add digital IDs and driver's licenses to Wallet later this year.
Here's how Google product manager Dong Min Kim describes some of Wallet's non-payment features: "If you saved your boarding pass for a flight to Google Wallet, it will notify you of delays and gate changes. When you head to a concert, you’ll receive a notification on your phone beforehand, reminding you of your saved tickets. Wallet also works with other Google apps — for instance if you’re taking the bus to see a friend and look up directions in Google Maps, your transit card and balance will show up alongside the route. If you're running low on fare, you can tap and add more."
Since going live in 2011, Google Wallet acted as a storage space for digital cards and as a hub for sending and requesting money. Google essentially killed Wallet in 2018 when it consolidated its digital payment services under one app, Google Pay. The company revamped Google Pay in late 2020 as it attempted to compete more directly with services like Venmo, but there was no word about a separate Wallet at the time.
Rumors about a revamped Wallet dropped in April, so today's news isn't a complete surprise.
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