With two key tentpoles, “the new” Google Pay was announced in November 2020. Google announced at the beginning of this year that Pay would become a “comprehensive digital wallet.” That change has yet to materialize, but a new “Wallet” icon seen by 9to5Google could signal the future of Google Pay.
This icon is internally referred to as “Wallet” and uses the four Google colors. The wallet is shown in blue at the bottom, while the red, yellow, and green cards can be easily removed through a cutout.
Despite being a simple design, it shares more than a few similarities with the iPhone’s Wallet icon. Compared to the current GPay logo, which consists of two interlocking colored arcs meant to represent wallets, the new icon is far more obvious. It may not be as obvious as putting a “G” and the word “Pay” side by side, but at least the illustration is there.
This new icon very much fits how Google Pay will become an all-encompassing virtual wallet after the current iteration failed. In the previous plan, the app would become a place for budgeting, finance tracking, and deals, as well as offering co-branded “Plex” checking and saving accounts for convenient management from your phone.
Google wants Pay to be the “connective tissue” for the entire consumer finance industry, including crypto partners. “Comprehensive digital wallet” would make Google’s app a home for “digital tickets, airline passes, and vaccine passports.”
This icon could easily replace the existing one for the Google Pay brand. Given how convoluted Google’s payments implementation has become, speculating on the “how” is not that straightforward.
Firstly, would the new icon apply to the “GPay” app or the “Google Pay” app? The former — built with Flutter — is only available in the United States, India, and Singapore. In addition to peer-to-peer payments, it allows users to purchase transit passes, pay for parking, and more. In the meantime, the latter app is what everybody around the world has access to. Various methods of payment and stored passes are displayed as a carousel.
There is, of course, a broader question as to which app Google will update to become the comprehensive digital wallet. Do people need to download a new app to get it, or will the existing one on their phones be updated?
In fact, wouldn’t it make more sense for Google to retain different applications like it did before the advent of “Google Pay”? In the past, NFC payments were made using Android Pay and P2P payments were made using Google Wallet. In your opinion, would it make more sense to have a humdrum “app” that stores credit/debit cards and various passes, while GPay continues to exist with its new financial planning functions?
As we said at the beginning, this new Wallet icon is only the start for Google Pay’s future. Google has the very complex task ahead of explaining, if not justifying, these changes to end users after a messy few years.