Google Wallet and Android Pay details are coming today, and we have a few early leaks

Google Wallet POS
Google’s senior vice-president of product, Sundar Pichai, detailed the inner workings of Android Pay at Mobile World Congress in March, but far less was revealed about the fate of Google Wallet other than the facts that it’d (1) live on in some form, and (2) integrate Android Pay as a payments source. Thankfully, the good ‘ol New York Times dug a bit deeper and managed uncover more: according loose-lipped “people familiar with the situation,” Google is prepping a slimmed-down, overhauled Wallet app for Android and iOS with a focus on peer-to-peer transactions.

The new Google Wallet, which is reportedly set for an unveiling at Google’s annual I/O developer conference, will let users send money to each other directly from attached debit accounts. Wallet already supports money transfers, but they can take days depending on the funding source. Bank-based transfers will presumably be much faster.

Android Pay will fill any gaps left in Wallet’s transitional wake, according to the Times report. Like Apple Pay, let merchants accept payments from within their apps and support tap-based NFC payments at brick-and-mortar businesses. And Google’s working with “credit card networks, card-issuing banks and payment processors” on loyalty program integration — Android Pay purchases at participating businesses will automatically add rewards points to accounts, sources say.

Motivating the Wallet pivot is a shift in payment strategy. Of Android Pay: “We are doing it in a way so that anybody else can build a payments service on top of Android,” Pichai said at MWC. The thinking internally is that it’ll render much of the current Wallet’s functionality redundant, according to the Times.

Google Wallet’s faced its share of struggles. It’s been blocked by carriers, rebuked by credit card companies, and largely ignored by consumers, but you wouldn’t know it from all the progress it’s made lately. Google’s Wallet division partnered with Dunkin’ Donuts, Shopify, Seamless and ChowNow in April, and recently purchased infamous payment conglomerate Softcard.

Android Pay is ultimately a grab at the millions of smartphone owners who already use mobile payments, and the tens of millions more likely to join them in the coming years. Research firm BI Intelligence projects mobile payments in the U.S. alone will rise to $818 billion by 2019, or about five percent of all transactions. That’s likely thanks to Apple Pay, which already makes up more than $2 out of $3 spent on purchases using contact-less payment across the three major U.S. card networks. If Google’s dealmaking, acquisitions, and willingness to go back to the drawing board are any indication, though, the search giant isn’t bowing out without a fight.


Google's midrange Pixels might be called the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a midrange line. Say hello to the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL.

Google Fi: Phones, plans, pricing, perks, and more explained

Google's wireless service, formerly Project Fi, now goes by the name of Google Fi, and it's now compatible with a majority of Android phones, as well as iPhones. Here's everything you need to know about Google Fi.

Rooting your Android device is risky. Do it right with our handy guide

Wondering whether to root your Android smartphone or stick with stock Android? Perhaps you’ve decided to do it and you just need to know how? Here, you'll find an explanation and a quick guide on how to root Android devices.

Saving for a vacation? Here are the best apps to help you manage your wealth

Looking to start managing your money, but don't care for intricate software or spreadsheets? Lucky for you, we made a list of the best budgeting apps designed to help you rein in your expenditures.

Google hit with another fine by the EU, this time for $1.7 billion

Google has been fined for the third time by the EU, this time for breaching antitrust laws by requiring third-party websites using its search function to prioritize its ads over competitors.

Get your hands (and ears) on Apple’s new AirPods — here’s where to find them

Apple's new AirPods with wireless charging are the latest version of the much-loved wireless earbuds. Unfortunately, they aren't widely available yet. Here's where you can find them right now, and where they will show up soon.
Product Review

There’s almost nothing bad to say about the Mi Mix 3, but you still shouldn’t buy it

The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 is good-looking, really well made, packed with features, and is a powerful, modern, desirable smartphone. But you probably shouldn’t buy it. Why? Nothing wrong with the device itself, but Xiaomi itself is mostly to…

You can now use the innovative Red Hydrogen One on Google Fi

The Red Hydrogen One was first announced in 2017 and has been delayed a few times since then. Now, the Red Hydrogen One is finally available, featuring a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage.

Apple’s AirPower wireless charging mat may be coming soon

At its September event in 2017, Apple unveiled the AirPower, a new wireless charging mat that will allow you to charge multiple devices at one time. It has not yet been released. Here's everything we know about the device so far.

The best Apple AirPods alternatives for Android, Windows, and iOS devices

Apple AirPods might be new and improved, but they aren't the only game in town. Other makers are offering their own truly wireless earbuds, with attractive features. These are the best AirPod alternatives on the market today.

Here are 20 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great small gift ideas), we've rounded up 20 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding Bluetooth keyboard.

The latest Google Doodle lets you create Bach-like music of your own

Google is celebrating the life of German composer Johann Sebastian Bach, and to that end the company has released a new Google Doodle that allows you to create Bach-like melodies and harmonies of your own.

Amazon’s new Kindle has an adjustable light and costs less than $100

Amazon has taken the wraps off of a new Kindle model, which boasts a number of great features and comes at a very affordable price. Perhaps the best thing about the new Kindle is that the device has an adjustable.

Apple iPad Air vs. iPad (2018): Which Apple tablet is right for you?

The new iPad Air replaces the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, but it doesn't pack quite the same punch. It is a fair bit cheaper, starting at $500, but it's a lot more expensive than Apple's 9.7-inch iPad which starts at $330. If you're shopping for…