Google Pay and Google Wallet: What’s the Difference? 

Gone are the days when we carried physical money in our wallets. Today, all we need is our smartphone or smartwatch to buy anything in seconds, be it at a mall, online, or at a local vendor. And this is all due to online payment apps like Google Pay.  

Launched in 2015, Google Pay has helped millions handle online transactions that are easier, faster, and more secure. G-Pay links to your bank account, and voila, you can buy anything from anywhere. Since we now have Google Wallet, let’s learn about that too. 

 In this blog, let’s look into the history of Google Pay and Google Wallet and learn the differences between both and which is better. 

History of Google Pay and Google Wallet 

Let’s start with some quick history about how Google started these two apps. Google Pay and Google Wallet have an interesting yet intertwined history: 

  • 2011: Google Wallet launches as a mobile payment system where users could store credit cards and loyalty programs digitally. 
  • 2015: Android Pay arrives as a separate contactless payment service for Android devices. 
  • 2018: Google merges Google Wallet and Android Pay into a unified platform called Google Pay. This offered a one-stop shop for digital wallets and contactless payments. 

There’s a twist for India, though: 

  • 2018 (India): Google launches Tez, a UPI (Unified Payments Interface) based app for India. 
  • 2022 (India): Google rebrands Tez to Google Pay in India, while the global Google Pay remains the same. 
  • 2022 (Globally): Google rebrands the global Google Pay app back to Google Wallet, while Google Pay in India stays the same. 
     So, here’s the current situation: 
  • Globally: Google Wallet is the digital wallet and contactless payment app. 
  • India: Google Pay remains the UPI-based payment app. 

 When it comes to online money management, Google allows users to use both apps like Google Pay and Google Wallet. These two apps may have the same parent company, but let’s understand what purpose it serves with its distinctive features.  

What is Google Pay? 

Google Pay is an online payment app on both iOS and Android that allows its users to pay for things online, in apps, with the help of a UPI ID, and even in stores through QR codes. It’s a modern way to spend your money, which is better than carrying a physical card, as it stores all the card-related information on the platform. You can even use it to pay for monthly subscription packages, such as Netflix and YouTube Music.  

Key Features of Google Pay: 

  1. Contactless Payments: To use Google Pay, all you need to do is tap and pay at stores that accept contactless payments. Simply unlock your phone, hold it near the payment area with the QR code, and you’re done! 
  2. Online Payments: Just add the bank details, and now you can use Google Pay. Since most companies are accepting this form of payment, Google Pay is a perfect app for both online merchants and buyers, making it easy to pay or accept payment for all. 
  3. Peer-to-Peer Payments: The best part is that you can send money or even request money from friends and family instantly. All you need is their phone number! Yeah, it is that simple. 
  4. Ticket and Pass Storage: It’s not just about the payment, but you can also store boarding passes, event tickets, and even loyalty cards! It’s convenient, isn’t it? 
  5. Security: Google pay used advanced security like encryption and tokenization. This is to protect the user’s personal data from card or bank details. 

Features of Google Pay 

Google Pay makes managing your money a breeze. Here’s what you can do: 

Effortless Payments: 

  • Scan any QR code to pay instantly at shops and restaurants. 
  • Send and receive money easily with friends and family by:
  • Paying contacts directly
  • Using phone numbers 
  • Paying UPI IDs or numbers 
  • Manage bank transfers and self-transfers conveniently.
  • Pay bills for utilities, mobile recharges, and more. 

Quick Access to Services: 

  • Recharge your mobile phone or DTH/Cable TV on the go. 
  • Top up your FASTag for seamless toll payments. 

Discover and Save: 

  1. Explore Offers & rewards section to find deals and discounts. 

Stay in Control: 

  • Manage your money effectively with features like: 
  • Applying for a loan (subject to eligibility) 
  • Checking your CIBIL score for free 
  • Viewing transaction history 
  • Keeping an eye on your bank balance 

What is Google Wallet? 

In contrast, Google Wallet is currently only available for Android. It does not pay, but rather stores important data such as digital documents and cards. 

 Key Features of Google Wallet: 

  1. Payment Card Storage: Just like Google Pay, Google Wallet stores credit cards and debit cards. 
  2. ID and Document Storage: Google Wallet stores your ID cards (driver’s licence, student ID, employee ID, and other form of IDs). Since this feature came our recently, it is not available in every country.
  3. Digital Keys: Since these days we have car and hotel room keys digitally, you can store them easily on Google Wallet. 
  4. Event Tickets and Boarding Passes: We did forget or lose our tickets from time to time, didn’t we? Google Wallet is great for storing your tickets and boarding passes! Just keep your phone’s battery life good all the time. 

Features of Google Wallet 

You simply have to click ‘Add to Wallet’ and you can add  

  1. Photo: Create a pass using a phone with a barcode or QR code. 
  2. Loyalty: Earn and use your rewards and points. 
  3. Gift Card: Shop and pay with a gift card 
  4. Transport Pass: Get around town with your phone. 

In case you need help, there is a small section below that will give you instructions. 

How Do They Work Together? 

 Google Pay and Goole Wallet compliments each other. The former concentrates on secure payments, while the latter concentrates on replacing your physical wallet which is great for a wider range of documents and keys. 


  • Google Pay is for transactions! Once you do that your payment cards are saved in Google Wallet. 
  • You don’t have to switch your app, and can use them directly. 

 Security Considerations 

Since we all know how secure payment is important for all of us, both Google Pay and Google Wallet are protected. Check out the features that makes them secure and better option when it comes to online payment. 

  1. Encryption: Your payment information is all encrypted as each payment acts like a code that is read by only authorized parties. 
  2. Tokenization: Here, when you pay, Google Pay uses that as a token instead of using your card number. These tokens change with every transaction. Hence, if someone intercepts it, they can’t use it to purchase it. 
  3. Two-Factor Authentication: Both Google Pay and Google Wallet, provide two-factor authentication. Hence, it acts like an extra layer of security, more like second password. 

 Choosing the Right Service for You 

So, should you use Google Pay or Google Wallet? The answer depends on what you need: 

  • If your primary goal is to make quick, secure payments, Google Pay is likely the better option. It’s streamlined for transactions and works seamlessly in many places. 
  • If you want a comprehensive digital wallet that can store a variety of cards, IDs, keys, and documents, Google Wallet offers more versatility. 


Google Pay and Google Wallet are powerful tools that can simplify your financial and personal management. Google Pay focuses on making transactions easy and secure, while Google Wallet aims to replace your physical wallet with a digital solution for various cards and keys. Understanding the differences and how they can work together allows you to take full advantage of these services, making your life a little bit easier and more organized. Whether you’re shopping, traveling, or just trying to streamline your daily routine, these tools offer valuable features to help you stay on top of your game. 

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