Google has given its mobile payments app, Google Pay, a complete redesign with a slate of new features on both iOS and Android. The upgrade revamps the UI to look more like the company’s Tez payments app, popular in India, while also coupling new features like rewards, spending tracking, and more.
As you can see, the new Google Pay app looks a lot different. It includes three tabs at the bottom: Explore, Pay, and Insights. Explore gives you access to the app’s rewards system that syncs with your credit card and gives you special bonuses for shopping at certain retailers. Pay does what you expect: it lets you pay people and see a rolling record of the retailers you’ve recently shopped at. Finally, Insights gives you detailed information on your spending habits and lets you view all of your transactions.
That’s because Google has made a fundamental change to the way Google Pay works. Instead of just adding your cards, you log into your back and add your accounts. This lets you track your spending and see where you stand this month opposed to the previous month. It’s like having one of those third-party bank apps that yell at you if you spend too much money.
Of course, Google Pay still lets you pay with your cards, and if you’re running Android 11 you’ll see them appear in the power menu.
When sending someone money, you’ll use their phone number which you register during the setup process. You can also use a QR code that’s located behind your profile picture in the app.
With this complete revamp of Google Pay, it’s clear Google wants you to manage your money exclusively through it. The company even confirmed it would eventually introduce Plex, a new type of bank system that will live in Google Pay and be powered by Citi and other partners. Much like people do all of their financial business through Apple Pay on the iPhone, Google wants to take it a step forward with its payments application that’s available on both iOS and Android.
The new Google Pay app is available now as a separate entity. The old Google Pay app is still available, but I’m not sure why.