19 Nov 2020
Google Pay gets major redesign; here's what has changed
The Google Pay app has been redesigned with a special focus on personal finance.
The new app has been completely rewritten in Flutter, Google's DART-based development kit, and is now available in the United States.
The new version of Pay, which has been available in India for a while now, has a similar interface to Google's Tez.
Here are more details.
Built with multiple layers of security, says Google
The new GPay app was launched after a series of teasers on Twitter with a live stream.
Speaking about the update, Google said, "It's built with multiple layers of security to keep your money and information private and safe. And in 2021, it will give you the chance to apply for a new kind of digital bank account with trusted financial institutions."
What are the new features on the app?
The updated app allows users to search for local retailers who accept GPay, order a meal directly from the app, automatically apply store discount codes, etc.
It has also been integrated with Google Photos, which allows it to retrieve any paper receipts that users may have photographed.
The app has three tabs—Explore, Pay, and Insights. The Explore section will show deals and discounts.
Users can review transactions under 'Pay' tab
The Pay tab will show users a list of their transactions, showing a stack of cards. Friends and businesses you frequently transact with will be visible under this tab.
Users can review their transactions and also create groups. So, if you need to split expenses with one or more persons, you can create a group and track your expenses under one window.
'Insights' tab to show overview of finances
Users will be able to see an overview of their finances under 'Insights'. Google Pay will provide "periodic spending summaries and show your trends and insights."
However, this feature will be turned off by default, and users can choose to share this data to get a personalized overview of their finances.
Google vowed this data would not be shared with third-party apps.
Google announces Plex accounts; starting next year
Another major feature announced by Google is the Plex bank account, which will start in 2021.
This will allow users to open digital accounts on GPay, which Google called a "new mobile-first bank account integrated into Google Pay."
Plex includes checking and savings accounts with no monthly fees, overdraft charges or minimum balance requirements.
These will be offered by 11 banks and credit unions.
Are there any cons with this update?
GPay can only be used on one device at a time. When logging in on a second device, users will be warned that the account is in use on another device. The NFC payment source has been put behind a button in the top right.