January 11, 2018
By: Steven Anderson
Sometimes, a note of rebranding is a good idea. It helps a company focus on certain projects and tasks, and allows marketing to put all its efforts behind a certain brand point instead of having to split it among several. Google recently staged something similar, taking its oddly self-cannibalizing dichotomy and unifying it together under one umbrella.
Now, thanks to the rebranding and reorganization, Google Wallet and Android Pay will no longer be separate services, at least at some point in the future. When the reorg completes, there will be only Google Pay.
No one was ever really sure why Google felt the need to have separate services to cover various use cases; on a certain level, the two were probably taking business from each other at one point or another. Apparently, even Google caught on to the fact that it was breeding confusion in the marketplace and ended up pulling things together under Google Pay.
This comes at a good time for Google, as the company could use a better brand strategy in mobile payments. It’s got defunct brands like Google Checkout, recent entries like Pay With Google, and even international releases like Google Tez which went after the Indian market.
Consolidating, meanwhile, should give the company not only an edge in focusing its marketing, but also help it match up with competitors in the field like Apple, Samsung, and others. Given that Apple Pay has seen its user count double over the last year and annual transactions better than triple, there may be something to the simplicity-of-branding concept.
The good news is that mobile payments is still, essentially, a young industry. There are many new competitors entering the field, each with its own value proposition—though many are a rather shaky proposition at that—so there’s still room to claim new market share. Android Pay was always kind of a laggard as that went, especially given that Samsung Pay was leading with Samsung devices, and many Android devices fell under the Samsung brand.
Still, it’s good to see that Google can understand when it’s made mistakes, and change accordingly. This might be a helpful move for the company, and one that can help it get more skin in this rapidly-changing game.