Google Wallet + Virtual Cards

Google launched its digital wallet and virtual cards at latest developer conference

  • first payments related movement from Google since Plex was scrapped

    • teamed up with 11 banks for users to choose which bank they want to open an account with

    • all integrate into Google Pay

  • previous attempts with Google Pay

    • traction in India

    • struggles everywhere else

    • lots of competition with Apple, Samsung

Features of this launch

digital wallet

  • can save non-card items like flight tickets, vaccine cards

    • like Apple Wallet

  • integrate with other apps and services

    • transit balance shows up for google maps

  • google pay

    • P2P payments

  • supports crypto as a payment option

    • fiat only

    • add a crypto card

    • no wallet integrations

virtual cards

  • auto-fill increasing in security

    • convert cards to virtual for shopping

    • dynamic CVV

  • support for Capital One, Visa, Amex, Mastercard

  • data NOT used for ads

History of Google Payments Products

  • Google Wallet launched in 2011 as a mobile payment service app (tap to pay)

    • restrictive - needed a Citi MasterCard Account or Google Prepaid Card.

  • Android Pay was next in 2015

    • easier to use but still contactless pay

  • Google Wallet Card discontinued. Google Wallet merged with Android Pay. Gave birth to Google Pay in 2018

    • contactless in person payments + P2P payments online

    • was the Android wallet

  • Google Pay Wallet became Google Pay Send for P2P. This was discontinued in 2020

  • India: Google Tez. Basically Google Pay on steroids with messaging features, personalized offers, better software

  • Old Google Pay discontinued in April 2021

  • 2022 / Today: Google Wallet returns! Plus Wear OS. Store debit/credit cards, other cards. Replaces Google Pay completely. Indian users will continue as Google Pay though.

Google's strengths and strategies

  • search and online services

  • fat balance sheet

  • no fees

  • NOT a bank

  • Google's plays in payments haven't been as flashy as Apple / PayPal / other fintechs

  • partnership approach - build an open ecosystem, leverage shared data. that is google's strength

    • ~ connective tissue ~

    • enabler of ecosystems

    • no fees = hook to get people to use Google's bread and butter more (search & online services)

      • payments part of their funnel

      • part of the commerce experience / journey

New hire: Arnold Goldberg, Google Payments GM

  • ex-PayPal executive (8 years running merchant business)

  • joined in January to build the Google financial platform