Google Pay = Google Play
The trouble with that is if Google Pay refuses to work, then Google Play (with an L) refuses to work *even for free apps*.
And you can't uninstall Google Play Services without it taking all your downloaded apps with it. It uninstalls them when you turn it off in the settings.
This is the linkage game no different than when Microsoft did it.
Google Play Services is one of the most virulent spyware apps ever. Tracking, surveillance, access to cameras, microphones the lot. It has no purpose doing that, yet it does it for Google's benefit.
You probably don't know its tracking your location, and monitoring your app usage and all the other things "Carrier IQ" was doing. Sadly it is.