Google loyalists are sure to thrill at the company’s newly redesigned mobile payments app.
The app’s peer-to-peer payments are intuitive and conversational, packing a host of features into a remarkably simple interface. Its integrations with retailers like gas stations bring touch-free magic to the most tedious of transactions. And perhaps most impressively, its customized financial insights are surprisingly engaging and useful, in sharp contrast to the bulky, color-coded pie charts still favored by many banks and credit cards.
But this Google Pay update, geared toward the U.S. market, is more than a facelift. It’s a transition step toward the launch of Plex, a mobile-first banking service that Google plans to introduce in partnership with financial institutions including Citi next year. It’s also a tacit acknowledgement that mobile wallets, as currently designed, are failing to win over the majority of U.S. consumers.
“Many Americans still find managing money really…