Google Wallet: available in India but not for all Android users, Check here

What is Google Wallet?

Google Wallet is a free app developed by Google that serves as a digital hub for storing various documents and essentials of your digital life. It allows users to store rewards, tickets, and even car keys in a convenient and easily accessible manner. However, it is important to note that the version of Google Wallet launched in India differs from its international counterpart. In India, Google Wallet does not support the storage of bank cards or enable digital payments. For these purposes, Google Pay remains the preferred payment app from the company.

Availability of Google Wallet in India

The Google Wallet app for Android smartphones was recently launched in India and is available for download on the Google Play Store. If you are unable to find the app on the Play Store, you can visit the company’s official website, which will redirect you to the installation page on the Play Store. It is worth mentioning that not all features of Google Wallet may be available in every region initially, but Google aims to bring them to users in India in the coming months.

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How to Use Google Wallet

Setting up and using Google Wallet on your Android phone is a straightforward process. Here are the steps to get started:

  1. Download the Google Wallet app from the Google Play Store.
  2. Once downloaded, launch the Google Wallet app and follow the on-screen instructions.
  3. If you are new to Google Wallet, you will be prompted to add a payment card. You can either scan the card using your phone’s camera or enter the card details manually.
  4. If you have previously used Google Pay, your existing cards, tickets, and passes will be accessible within the Google Wallet app.
  5. For enhanced security, you can set up a screen lock on your Android phone.
  6. Ensure that your device meets the software requirements for contactless payments, including having NFC (Near Field Communication) capabilities and having Google Pay set as your default payment app.

It is important to note that Google Wallet will not be supported on older Android devices. Starting June 10th, Google Wallet will no longer function on devices running Android versions below 9 (Pie) or Wear OS versions below 2.x. This decision aligns with Google’s previous move to end Play Services support for Android 4.4 KitKat in August 2023. By discontinuing support for outdated systems, Google aims to provide a safer environment for users making contactless payments with Google Wallet. Previously, Google Wallet (formerly Google Pay) supported devices as far back as Android 5.0 (Lollipop). This update primarily impacts users on Android Nougat (7.0, 7.1) and Oreo (8.0, 8.1). However, the majority of Android devices already run Android 9 or higher, so this change is unlikely to affect most users.

Differences between Google Wallet and Google Pay

Despite their similar names, Google Wallet and Google Pay are separate apps with distinct purposes. While Google Pay focuses on financial transactions, allowing users to send and receive money, manage expenses, and earn rewards, Google Wallet prioritizes the safekeeping of digital essentials such as boarding passes, loyalty cards, and IDs. It aims to keep your phone clutter-free and important documents easily accessible. In this sense, Google Wallet is similar to Apple Wallet. Despite their differences, both apps can coexist on your device, providing users with a range of convenient features and functionalities.

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