I feel like I’m in the minority among my peers. I use Google Wallet and Android Pay pretty religiously. I choose to shop at establishments that allow me to use this technology as often as possible. I ask my peers that use Android devices how they like being able to pay with their phone and most say they’ve never done it and of those that have, they’ve only done it once or twice.
This isn’t a story about how I’m totally fucking awesome and ahead of the curve though. This is a story about how Google forced me to transition from Google Wallet to Android Pay and how the process flopped from a user experience perspective.
To start, Android Pay was something that just showed up on my phone one day. I must have had automatic updates enabled or something. Google Wallet just stopped working and they said I had to use Android Pay. Great, or so I thought.
The first time I used Android Pay, I was laying in bed and just realized that Google Wallet had been replaced on my Nexus 5. I went to see what it was all about and I was greeted with some information about the new app and then asked to verify the credit cards I had on file by entering the CVV codes on the cards.
If I had been out and about trying to use the app the actually pay for something I would have been completely fucked. I only carry a couple of cards on me (less every day) but keep more cards loaded up in my Google Wallet depending on what I’m buying. That’s the beauty of it. Now I have to re-verify cards that were previously working just fine? An absolute fail.
A few days later, I finally decided to hop back in and verify my cards. Fortunately after verifying, everything starting working again as it was previously. The transition was pretty painless but the fact that I could have been put in a situation where I couldn’t use the app was quite disconcerting.
I’m aware that Google is a highly successful company, but these kind of scenarios make me realize how easy it is for large and successful companies to be knocked off by scrappy upstarts. An attention to detail doesn’t always scale, regardless of how successful your company is.
I am actually planning to move back to an iPhone soon, not because of this particular issue but because I still feel like Android as a whole isn’t as polished as I’d like it to be. Maybe down the road it will be, but today that’s just not the case for me.