The “new” Google Pay was announced in November 2020 with two key tentpoles. Both have failed by all accounts, and the company said at the start of this year that Pay is next going to become a “comprehensive digital wallet.” That change has yet to materialize, but a new “Wallet” icon seen by 9to5Google could be the start of Google Pay’s future. 

The icon in question is internally referred to as “Wallet” and makes use of the four Google colors. You have the actual wallet in blue at the bottom, while a cutout allows for easy removal of the red, yellow, and green cards. 

It’s a simple enough design that has more than a few similarities with the iPhone’s Wallet icon. Compared to the current GPay logo, which consists of two multi-colored and interlocking arcs that are meant to represent wallets, this new icon is much more apparent. It’s arguably not as obvious as a “G” and the word “Pay” side by side, but at least there’s an illustration.

New “Wallet” icon, GPay, Google Pay

In terms of use, this new icon very much fits how Google Pay is supposed to become an all-encompassing virtual wallet after the current iteration failed. That previous plan involved the app becoming a place for budgeting, finance tracking, and deals, as well as offering co-branded “Plex” checking and saving accounts that were geared towards simple management right on your phone. 

Google now wants Pay to “become the connective tissue for the entire consumer finance industry,” including crypto partners. The “comprehensive digital wallet” would make Google’s app a home for “digital tickets, airline passes and vaccine passports.”

This new icon could very easily replace the existing one for the Google Pay brand. That being said, speculating on the “how” is not actually that straightforward given how convoluted Google’s current payments implementation has become.

First off, would this new icon apply to the “GPay” or “Google Pay” app? The former — built with Flutter — is only available in the United States, India, and Singapore. It offers a slew of new capabilities like peer-to-peer payments, purchasing transit passes, paying for parking/gas, and more. Meanwhile, the latter app is what everybody else around the world has access to. It simply shows a carousel of stored payment methods and various stored passes.

Google Pay vs. GPay

Of course, the broader question is which app is Google going to update to become the comprehensive digital wallet. Will people be required to install a new app to get it, or will the existing one on their phones be updated?

In fact¸ would it make more sense for Google to retain distinct applications like it did before “Google Pay” came into existence? Before 2018, there was Android Pay for NFC payments and Google Wallet for P2P. Would it make more sense today for there to be a humdrum “app” for your stored credit/debit cards and various passes, while GPay would continue to exist with all those new financial planning capabilities?

As we said at the beginning, this new Wallet icon is only the start for Google Pay’s future. Google has the very complex task ahead of explaining, if not justifying, these changes to end users after a messy few years.

Ben Schoon, Dylan Roussel, and Kyle Bradshaw contributed to this article

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About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com