Google has decided to relaunch its Google Wallet app today ahead of the upcoming Android Pay rollout. The old Google Wallet was designed to be an easy way to load a digital account with cash for transferring money among friends or making online purchases. It was also a way to pay in-store using NFC terminals, similar to Apple Pay, and store gift cards and promotional offers, like Apple's Passbook. The new version, however, is tailored more as a competitor to services like Square Cash and Venmo, in which you tie in a bank account or debit card and can send money using your smartphone.
For now, two versions of Google Wallet exist in the Google Play Store. The new one is identifiable; it's named Google Wallet (New). The old one will be updated to Google's mobile payments service, Android Pay, "in the next few days," reads the old Google Wallet's app description page. All of the old features of Google Wallet, like paying in-store by tapping your phone on a NFC terminal, will become part of Android Pay.
Google just wants to confuse you
Users will retain their Wallet balances inside the new app whether they're using an Android or iOS device. However, only Android users will be able to access Android Pay, meaning all gift cards, loyalty programs, and promotional offers won't be accessible to iPhone owners. Google is providing a tool for iOS users to export that data to Apple's Passbook app or in the form of PDFs if they choose to do so on a desktop computer.