It’s a big day for Google and payments.
The company just completely overhauled its beleaguered Wallet app, turning it into a Venmo-clone that lets users send money to anyone with an email address for free.
Google’s also starting to roll out Android Pay, the mobile payments service announced in May that lets users pay for things at real-world retail stores with a tap of their phone.
Android Pay is essentially the same thing as both Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. All three use near-field communication (NFC) technology, which is increasingly supported in the equipment retailers use for customer credit card transactions.
Google says Android Pay will work with American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa, and will roll out with one million accessible locations, including like Subway, Panera, and Whole Foods, with more to come soon.
The bigger surprise here is really the rebirth of Wallet.
When Google first announced the advent of Android Pay, it looked like Wallet was toast, since both systems essentially tried to achieve the same thing: Letting you pay for stuff with your phone. By focusing on peer-to-peer payments instead, Wallet carves its own niche in the company’s larger payments ambitions.
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