With Android Pay on the way, Google Wallet pivots to focus on personal money transfers

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Credit: Florence Ion

Android Pay is the cool kid now, pushing aside Google Wallet as the new mobile payment solution for Android. It's not here yet, but when it arrives, what will happen to Google's current mobile payments solution?

Google Wallet isn’t going away. Instead Google is turning it into a Gmail-friendly version of PayPal, focusing on sharing and receiving money from other individuals. This is already a function of Google Wallet, but there are plans for further development and refinement.

For example, Google says it’s building new apps for Android and iOS that will allow anyone with a U.S. debit card to send and receive money “for free within minutes,” even if the other party doesn’t have the app. The money that you get can then be sent to your bank account or spent with a Google Wallet card.

Google didn’t announce any kind of timeline for when it would release the new apps, but it’ll likely happen by the time Android Pay rolls out later this year.

The story behind the story: Apple Pay pulled the rug from under Google Wallet, quickly becoming a popular mobile payment solution with better security. Google’s response is Android Pay, which was spelled out in more detail at Google I/O. Android Pay uses a similar tokenization method to Apple Pay, concealing your credit card information when making a payment. 

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