It looks like Google is silently removing the option to send peer-to-peer transactions via Google Pay Send from its apps in the US. This follows the complete shutdown of the service in the UK. For two of our tipsters, the option to send and receive money from friends via the Messages app has been missing for a few days, and now a Google support page has surfaced that confirms that the functionality is stripped from the Assistant, Gmail, and Contacts. You can still use the Pay app to move money to friends, though.
While the situation is clear cut when it comes to Assistant, Gmail, and Contacts (it’s even mentioned in its Play Store changelog, see below), we’re not sure if the removal of Pay from Messages is a bug or not. No documentation seems to point at an official retraction, and there’s even still an active help page that explains how you can use Messages to send money.
Google being Google, the removal of the Pay feature generally seems to be a work in progress. A tipster tried transferring money via Google Assistant on his phone, and while he stopped short of approving the transaction, the UI suggests that payments are still possible. The same action wasn’t available on his Chromebook, though, so it looks like something’s up.
Left: The Contacts Play Store changelog. Right: Functional Pay Send in Google Assistant.
Google Pay Send was initially part of Google Wallet, which was integrated with Gmail and Messages back in 2017 already. When it was rebranded to its current name, it gradually made its way into Contacts and then Assistant.
We can only speculate why Google would remove it from its apps. Maybe the company wants to streamline the transfer experience to make the Pay brand more prominent, only allowing you to use the app to send money. It would make sense to promote the Pay name more aggressively if Google really wants to turn it into a shopping portal, as rumored. With the UK shutdown of Pay Send in mind, it’s also possible that Google wants to get rid of the platform altogether.
We’ve reached out to Google for more information.