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Google Wallet is Coming Back

Google Announced Google Wallet's return at Google I/O

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A photo of an Android device with the leaked screenshot of Google Wallet
Google Wallet could be making its return as a feature set within Google Play Services.
Image: Florence Ion / Gizmodo / Mishaal Rahman

Update 5/11: Google Wallet is back! At Google I/O 2022, the search giant pulled the curtain off the reprised Google Wallet. The app will store all your important information, including credit cards, passes, and vaccine cards. Google is also working on bringing more digital IDs and driver licenses to Google Wallet.

We’re still waiting to hear if the new app will replace Google Pay outright or if it will exist in tandem.

It’s the perfect time in between the two Easter holidays (Orthodox Easter is this Sunday!) to announce that Google Wallet has (probably) risen. According to noted code-sniffer Mishaal Rahman, Google Wallet is (probably) returning to Android. But you never know with this company.

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On April 18, Rahman tweeted a series of screenshots showing the new Wallet interface within Google Play Services. The images indicate the Wallet moniker is back, complete with a new icon showing what looks like the type of wallet clip you’d stow in your back pocket. (I hate to say it resembles the Apple Wallet icon but in Google’s primary colors.) The new icon leaked last week when Google updated its Workspace assets.

The Wallet interface looks more tuned to splaying out your debit and credit cards and everything in between rather than managing your payment history and bank transactions, as Google Pay does now. The screenshots also show a similar listing of membership and loyalty cards, transit passes, and plane tickets. However, you can access all of those now through the payment screen in Google Pay after entering your security credentials.

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It seems like this is merely a look at a newly organized interface rather than an entirely different service, since Google did so much work over the past few years to consolidate wallet-like abilities into what is now known as Google Pay.

But it’s still a little confusing to see these images come through. As a long-time user of Google’s apps and services, it often seems the company will make a big to-do about introducing new features and then change courses seemingly at the drop of a hat. I hope these Wallet screenshots aren’t a hint at something completely new on the horizon, as I’ve already migrated every account and membership into Google Pay as my primary way of paying with a smartphone.

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It’s a wonder if Google will reintroduce Wallet like it never existed before, considering that’s what it was on Android before the rebrand in 2020. (Although, there was also that stint when it was Android Pay? It has changed names so many times throughout Android’s short lifespan.) Anyway, it would be nice not to walk in constant confusion about how to do contactless payments from my Android device, lest I give up and revert entirely to Samsung Pay from here on out.