Google launches redesigned Google Pay app with focus on financial management

Google said the three key focuses for the redesign were simplicity, security and privacy, as well partnerships in financial and other service areas.

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Google is taking the wraps off of its new Google Pay experience, revealing on Wednesday a completely redesigned Google Pay app in the US for both Android and iOS. Google said the three key focuses for the redesign were simplicity, security and privacy, as well partnerships in financial and other service areas. 

Google Pay has over 150 monthly active users across 30 countries, the company said. With the redesign, Google said its goal was "to make money more simple and secure for everyone" with new tools for managing personal finances and finding deals on purchases. 

The range of new features within the app are spread out across three new tabs: Pay, Explore, and Insights. The Pay tab houses the app's peer-to-peer payments service and transaction history. The Explore tab functions as a repository of deals and discount offers. The Insights tab, meanwhile, lets users connect to their bank accounts for personalized financial management. 

Google is also partnering with 11 banks to launch Plex, described as a mobile-first bank accounts that will have no monthly fees, overdraft charges or minimum balances. Set to debut in 2021, Plex accounts will be owned by the banks but managed by the Google Pay app. Launch partners for Plex include Citi and Stanford Federal Credit Union. 

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Caesar Sengupta, GM and VP of Payments for Google, said the new app was built with a privacy-forward design. For instance, users can customize their security settings based on personalization, reward offers, and access to contacts. The security settings have also been centralized into one space for clarity and ease of use. Google also noted that payment transactions in the app are not made public (think Venmo) and that users will receive security alerts if they mistakenly send a payment to the wrong person. Google Pay also uses multi-factor authentication and tokenization.