Google Pay vs G Pay
Google updated its Google Pay app. Well not really, instead of updating the app itself, they released a new app which is now called G Pay. The old version, Google Pay, is still available in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. This is also the one you have used so far if you ever used Google Pay. If you use the old app these days, it will show you a pop-up notification about the new app.
The old app was simple, easy to navigate and to use. I used the app mostly to store my loyalty cards so I don’t have to carry them around with me. You can also store boarding passes, tickets, and other passes in Google Pay. All this was pretty limited so far and I was hoping for a better user interface for my stored loyalty cards as well as the option to edit these cards and for example add the business logo. It’s amazing that for some big brands like UPS or Southwest Airlines there is no logo for the virtual loyalty card. It just shows the first letter of the business on the card. For example an S for Southwest Airlines. Compared to Google Pay, Samsung Pay was way ahead of Google. The user interface was cleaner and I was able to add pictures of the front and back of my physical card to my virtual card. Alternatively, I just downloaded the brand logo and added that as my front side picture.
If you are hoping to find an improvement for that, don’t bother, there is none in G Pay. They made it also harder to find your loyalty cards and to get to them. Now you have to go to the “Pay” tab, which you can select at the bottom of the app. Then you see your profile picture on the top right corner and next to it, I see my default payment method. When I tap on that card it opens a new section of the app which shows all your payment methods at the top half of the screen and the bottom half can be pulled up to reveal your loyalty and membership cards. That’s also the same spot to add new payment cards (credit and debit cards), loyalty cards, gift cards, and transit cards.
Let us look at three different sections of the app.
Sections of the App
The explore tab lets you browse offers for cashback. That’s a new feature of G Pay and was not available in the old app. This is similar to Amex Offers or Chase Offers. There are some lucrative ones at the moment, like the Target promotion where you get $21 back when you spend $50. If you shop at target, you might want to use the offer either way.
To be able to use that offer, you have to add a credit card first to your G Pay account. Then you have to enroll in G Pay’s Offers & Rewards where your card transaction details get shared with third-party companies to track offers. These companies are Rakuten Card Linked Offer Network and Fidel Limited. Besides that, Google will take its fair share as well from it. You can enroll all your credit cards to Offers & Rewards or select which one you would like to enroll. However, this is a step that doesn’t work for me. I selected to enroll all three for my added credit cards to be enrolled but just a second later I get a message that one or more of my cards couldn’t be enrolled and that I should update my card details. Well, my card details are all up to date and I used them to pay for stuff with the old app as well. At the moment, I can’t enroll my cards in this service of the app. I already requested a callback from Google a few hours ago but have yet to receive this call.
The explore tab will let you explore all of the available offers and rewards and they are grouped into different categories like Google Pay Favorites, Popular this week, and Nearby, to just mention a few. Just check it out. At the very top of that tab, you can tap on the image where it says “Explore ways to save” so open the camera to scan the G Pay barcode to pay for stuff.
The pay section of the app lists as mentioned earlier all of your payment methods, including debit cars and bank accounts if you added them. These can be accessed by clicking on the symbol with your default payment method at the top right corner of the screen, next to your profile image.
This section also lists all recent payments you made. Either to people, as you can transfer money straight to your friends and other persons through the app or businesses. In my case, it shows all the spending on my Amex card, as this one will automatically show up here once I use my credit card. I don’t even have to use the Amex card through the app, I can just regularly swipe it at any payment terminal.
The great part here is, once you click on a business it shows you available offers, if there are any, recent transactions with that business, and also your loyalty card for that business if you have added it to G Pay. This is very convenient, but it’s only easy to get to if you already made a purchase for that business. Otherwise, you have to type the business into the search bar and browse through the results of that search.
On that page, you can also set up if your friends can find you through your name and phone number to pay you through G Pay.
If you scroll down in the Pay tab you will get to the discover section where you have options to order food, get gas, and pay for parking. Each of them will open up Google Maps and for example, show nearby gas stations and their prices. You also have the option to directly navigate to the business from that page. The question for me is, why is this not in the explore tab? I mean discover and explore are pretty much the same. That’s Google for you.
If you are into statistics and want to track your spending closely, you can add the transaction history of your bank account, credit cards, and debit cards via a third-party service called “Plaid” which is directly integrated into G Pay. Plaid supports all major banks and credit cards in the US.
The insight tab also gives you an overview of how much you have spent today and your recent spending in the current calendar month. For most banks and credit cards to work with this feature, you have to make use of Plaid. The only exception is, as mentioned, American Express. They are automatically showing this information when you add your Amex credit card to G pay.
Last but not least, at the end of the Insights tab, you find your recent spending activity listed in chronological order. This is helpful to keep track of what got paid when.
You can let Google also pull receipts and bills from Gmail or from Google Photos if you take pictures of receipts and sync your photos with the Google Photos cloud.
To push the app onto the phones of more people, Google offers a referral bonus for bringing your friends to G Pay. All you have to do is share your invite link with a friend and when he/she signs up for Google Pay and spends at least $10, both of you get $21 each.
Here my referral link. Just as mentioned above, both of us could get $21 when you spend at least $10 after signing up. This will help and support this blog.
What do you guys think about the new app? I think it has potential but needs some refinement. Some people are also not big into points and miles and rewards. They just want an easy way to pay for stuff with their phone. If you are the latter one, it’s almost best to install the old Google Pay app, as it doesn’t have all these fancy features and is, therefore, easier to navigate. However, I don’t know how long this app will stick around. Google tends to kill off services and products all the time. Just look at Google Play Music and YouTube music.
Get the new Google Pay
Conclusion Google Pay App
It’s definitely a welcome update to the rather easy and simple app. Now Google entered the rewards and cashback world with Google Pay, something which rival Samsung offered for a while already with Samsung Pay. Google and its app are known for easy switching between different accounts. Unfortunately, the new G Pay app doesn’t allow easy account switching without clearing the data or reinstalling the app. This is probably to stop people from double-dipping into the cashback offers but it would be great if you have a personal and business account and could switch easily between the two of them. Maybe a similar feature is already in the pipeline for a future release.
Issues with the new service
I was not able to enroll any of my credit cards into the rewards program. Google Pay support was no help at all, as they don’t even know their own system and they are basically telling me a lie just to close the case, but I was able to prove them wrong. It’s sad! Money is involved here and Google should train their people better and they should provide better support, possible phone support instead of just email. I am very disappointed in the support which was offered to fix my issue with Google Pay. Basically, I figured it out myself as not even the supervisor had any ideas.
Google Pay Website
Changes are coming to pay.google.com.
Due to the release of the new app, Google won’t allow you anymore to make payments to other people through pay.google.com. You will now have to use the app starting in early 2021.
Peter has a passion for Traveling, Photography, and Geocaching. These are the best ingredients for amazing adventures all over the globe. “Traveling is fun, no matter if you stay in a luxury hotel or travel like a backpacker.” Peter shares his experiences on his Blog www.gatetoadventures.com
Some of Peter’s photos are published on corporate websites, in-flight magazines, travel guides, and much more.