Before you freak out, no — Google Wallet is not dying. In fact, it might actually get better. Google’s Sundar Pichai spoke at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this morning about the company’s plans for mobile payments in the future. This comes at a time where Apple and now Samsung have thrown their hats into the arena with exciting platforms of their own.
Google Wallet in the now slightly pales in comparison to those guys, but Android Pay will hopefully look to change that. The first thing to know is that Android Pay won’t actually replace Google Wallet.
Instead it’s a full-blown payment platform and API that Google and third-party developers alike can tap into. Google Wallet will likely still exist as its own app and service, but Google will use Android Pay as the backbone. Don’t like Google Wallet? Another developer could come along and do things differently, but still enjoy the same secure backbone that Google uses with little issue and you’d be free to give that service a go if you so wish.
For its part, Google says they aren’t necessarily threatened by Samsung’s move to enter the wireless payment space. In fact, Google hopes the two can work together in some way and get the idea of wireless payments into the hands, pockets and minds of more people. Google has a leg up on Samsung thanks to their acquisition of Softcard (formerly ISIS) which is already backed by most of the United Stats’ major carriers.
Unfortunately that’s all we know at this point. We’re not sure what other plans Google has to affect the wireless payment scenes in a powerful way, but we should be treated to more details once Google I/O arrives.