Google Pay: Caring Is Sharing

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Google Pay: Sharing Is Caring

Earlier this year Android Pay and Google Wallet combined forces to create Google Pay, a one-step payment process for Android users.  The app has featured online payments with certain websites/apps by initially linking a credit card and then checking out in the future with one click. More technologically impressive it uses NFC (Near Field Communication) to allow users to hold up their phone at a cash register and buy things in person too.

Google Pay seeks to make users lives easier by removing the hassle of reaching into you wallet/entering checkout info every time you buy something.  Yet the adoption rate for it has been…sub-optimal.  So far we’ve seen about 6% of total smartphone users give Google Pay a try.  It’s a growing number, but it’s still not very big.  If it’s because Google Pay doesn’t do enough for users, then it may start growing faster.

So what’s new?

Today Google announced some new features for the app that make it more useful.  The biggest of these is that you can now use Google Pay to send money to friends.  With apps like Venmo, PayPal, and the CashApp this is nothing new, but it’s necessary for the Google Pay to become relevant as it’s one of the primary ways younger generations pay one another.

And if you haven’t used cash sharing apps like these before GET ONE.  They’re essentially the staples easy button for splitting bills at restaurants and paying back friends.   Google Pay has a challenge of gaining traction in this sector since there are already a few established apps and sharing apps are only as useful as their adoption rate.  But then again, it’s Google and they choose what apps comes preloaded on Android phones.  Chances are they’ll be alright.

But wait there’s more!

Another new upgrade for the app is that it will be supporting boarding passes and event tickets.  Companies like Southwest and Ticketmaster will be incorporated into the app to allow users to take one step closer to a one-stop shop.  These tickets will update with real time information if something like a flight delay takes place, and they’ll work alongside any loyalty cards you have.

The updated Google Pay app is rolling out today, but it will be a few weeks until it reaches everyone who uses it.  The long term goal is clearly for Google Pay to become your go to app for any circumstances. I’m certain we’ll see some more new features come up in the news soon, and I’m also sure you’ll be able to read about them here!

What are your thoughts on Google Pay’s changes?  Is it still lacking something essential for success?  Let us know in the comments below.

From Rocks to Digital Wallets

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From Rocks to Digital Wallets

We started with trading rocks, then gold, then paper, and then credit cards.  Ok, that’s an extreme oversimplification of things, but the point is that over time humans have become more advanced with their trade patterns.  In an ever more digital world it only makes sense that our next step is complete digital assets.

No, I’m not talking about cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin which were all the hype last November (although I’m not ruling those out either).  Instead the spotlight is shifting towards other digital wallets/online payment systems like Google Pay.  In the next few years a huge shift will take place towards these systems.

What is a Digital Wallet?

For those of you unfamiliar with digital wallets, they’re simply an electronic device that allows their user to make digital transactions.  The user can link their bank account if they desire or they can transfer an amount into the wallet and use it from there.  Payments can be made either remotely from their account or with Near-Field Communication (“scanning” your phone at a register).  Last month Google merged two of its payment services (Android Pay and Google Wallet) into one service, and since then steps have been taken to make the service more useable in everyday life.

The most recent stride that gained media attention came last week when the Las Vegas Monorail began accepting Google Pay for transit tickets.  The city’s worked with Google to not only accept payment here but monitor past transactions and map transit for users.  It should be no surprise the long term goal is to implement this in all major cities.

Who uses Google Pay?

NFC systems like Google Pay are already integrated into many of our everyday lives.  Industry giants like Dunkin Donuts and McDonalds accept these for in person payments and companies like Airbnb allow users to make payments via their online accounts.

It’s mostly giants now, but as implementation is becoming easier we’ll see NFC phone payments spread like wildfire the same way credit cards did.  Square has produced an NFC reader to let anyone accept Google Pay/Apple Pay on their device.

Of course, this is the business side of things.  Apps like Venmo and Cash App have exploded in popularity for easy fare-free P2P transactions.  Back in February there was some concern about peer-to-peer payments not existing in the new solidified app.  Since then the worry has been calmed and Google has announced that Google Assistant can be used to pay people back with Google Pay.

It’s only a matter of time before everyone is using some form of digital wallets.  In the coming years we’ll likely see both improvements to the current system as well as new innovations to completely replace it.  If you have any thoughts on improvements NFC systems could use let us know in the comments below!

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