Another Day, Another ‘Pay’? Why Google Pay Could Be Different
The official announcement of Apple Pay back in late 2014, and Android Pay just a few months later, was the catalyst for seemingly endless prognostication on the dawn of a new era in mobile payments. Along with a clutch of ‘Pay’ cohorts, these digital wallets were widely expected to transform shopper behavior, nudging us closer to cashless world where the physical wallet could be left to collect dust at home.
Adoption has been much slower than the initial hype suggested (though one can usually find data to support views at both ends of the spectrum), but it was Mark Twain who said (or words to similar effect) that “reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” That phrase could equally be applied to the world of ‘Pays’ though: Mobile wallets have just gone in a different direction than what many anticipated. NFC has not been the mobile payments panacea, and Asia has led the way with QR code-based solutions (Alipay and Tencent).
Perhaps most importantly, despite the oft-touted benefits of going cashless, digital wallets have at times appeared to be a solution in search of a problem. The payment instruments (cash and cards) that digital wallets set out to disrupt might have their shortcomings, but are not so broken that consumers have been compelled to scale the barriers to entry. Limits to acceptance have played a role too, but adoption has in large part been due to consumers being reluctant to abandon the familiar – especially when it involves several steps to enrolment.
Lowering barriers to entry
So how could Google Pay be different? For starters, it consolidates Android Pay, Google Wallet and “all the different ways to pay with Google.” This includes payment credentials stored by Google’s Chrome browser, and it means that the hundreds of millions of cards already on file (under your and my Google accounts) can be easily accessed without further enrolment. This means greater convenience for shoppers, as they can simply choose to checkout with Google Pay and complete the payment by selecting Android Pay (if they’ve enrolled) or (for many more of us) one of the cards previously used on the Google Play Store, or YouTube, or somewhere under their Google account. So, rather than eliciting an eye-roll for bringing another ‘Pay’ to the market, Google is taking steps towards consolidation – and ease of use for the end consumer that is very consistent with other Google services we’ve increasingly found beneficial over the years.
Google Pay’s secret weapon is… Google
Consumers have become accustomed to entrusting Google with vast amounts of (often very personal) data; a search history that is used to deliver increasingly tailored services and personalized offers, not to mention to contacts, photos and personal documents. Is it that big a step to trust Google with payment credentials, for those who have not embraced digital/mobile wallets? The thing is, in many cases they have our payment credentials already, now they are just making them easy to use.
Google certainly has the tools at its disposal to make a convincing case for use of Google Pay. For starters, a common Google Pay brand across channels (in-app, mobile webshop, desktop, and proximity payment) will help with recognition, and should help to encourage repeat usage. Google’s real advantage though is the ability to use its own targeting capabilities within its products to make a compelling case to use Google Pay.
It’s early days, but Google has already put in place partnerships with major global payment processing partners (including ACI Worldwide) that should drive adoption of Google Pay by merchants, and use of the payment method by consumers.
John Gessau will be joined by Google on stage at NRF ‘Retail’s Big Show’ in NYC, January 14-16, to talk about the latest developments in mobile payments, including Google Pay. Date: Tuesday, January 16, 3:00 - 3:45pm, Expo Hall, Big Ideas Room 2 (Level 1).
Related Blog Posts
It’s A Hard Knock Life: Digital Transformation for Payment Service Providers in the New Payments Ecosystem
Is it a hard-knock life for processors and PSPs? Margins are constantly under pressure, and there’s the need for constant innovation, not to mention rock-solid #SleepAtNightability of solutions. And if there’s even the slightest crack in the fundamentals, customers will surely let you know all about it!
Instant Payments Are at the Heart of the New Global Payments Landscape: 10 Trends to Watch in 2018
2017 was a big year for immediate payments: European Banking Association, Real-Time 1 (EBA RT1) SEPA Credit Transfer Instant, The Clearing House (TCH) Real-Time Payments in the U.S., and the Australian New Payments Platform (NPP) schemes, all either going live, or in the case of Australia, about to go live. These schemes enable real-time payment transfers across the United States, 34 European countries and Australia, with the potential to reach nearly another 1 billion people. This comes on top of the existing live schemes in the UK, China and India, so that over half of the global population now can access real-time payments solutions.
Real-Time Payments Will be Europe’s Most Dominant Payments System – Are You Ready to Realize the Full Value?
Since the launch of the SCT Inst rulebook in November 2017, many more banks are live and offering real-time payments to their customers, with most of the rest committed to 2018. The buzzword at the recent ECB #TIPSapp Event in Frankfurt was ‘Interoperability,’ or as my friend José Beltrán from STET would say, ‘Reachability.’ No-one expressed this more clearly on February 6th than Javier Santamaria, President of the European Payments Council, when he reiterated his message from Il Salone Dei Pagamenti, the day after the SEPA launch; "We have launched the Pan-EU scheme, now it is up to you in the audience and beyond to take advantage of it and make it work."
The Complexities of Cannabis: Banks, Merchants, Consumers and More
Cannabis—it’s no longer the verboten 800-pound pink elephant (though I think that might be a new strand). It’s about as mainstream as well…mainstream. And as we begin our latest Rantings Rant, it seems like the last time we (well, not you or I) experienced something like this, Al Capone and Elliot Ness were facing off during the time of Prohibition (if you’ve never seen the film The Untouchables, I highly recommend it!).
KodakCoin and Six Ways That Blockchain Could Really Be Leveraged
The newest cry in the cryptocurrency clamour? That of heritage-photography-giant-cum-new-kid-on-the-payments-block, Kodak. Unbelievably, they have managed to out-blockchain the long-island-iced-tea company in their audacity, and (more than) double their share price to boot.
Why User Engagement Matters, Even for Enterprise Applications
As a User Experience Designer at ACI, I spend a lot of time watching users interact with my designs. I need to make sure our solutions work properly, but lately I’m more interested in how they make my users feel. Engagement is a dominant concept in user interface design right now. It’s important because positive emotional experiences often lead to increased use and loyalty.
Five Payments Trends to Watch in 2018 [Part 2]
The New Payments Ecosystem Is Here. The floodgates are opening with PSD2 and UK Open Banking coming into force, bringing an onslaught of new competitors and potential partners. Whether evolution is mandated or market-driven, banks and processors are facing a critical year in their long-term success.
Five Payments Trends to Watch in 2018 [Part 1]
2018 is set to be a year of rapid change and new challenges for payments players. The floodgates are opening with PSD2 and UK Open Banking coming into force, bringing an onslaught of new competitors and potential partners. Whether evolution is mandated or market-driven, banks and processors are facing a critical year in their long-term success.
When Is Processing Payments in The Cloud More Secure?
Back when I started my career, “Jessie’s Girl” by Australian rocker Rick Springfield topped the charts, the federal funds rate was 20 percent and most organizations were reliant upon one or more mainframe computers that were hosted in an internal “computer room.”
Oh, the Different Ways to Pay Today (Not by Doctor Seuss)
Mark, Mega Millions tickets cost 2 dollars now?!? I don’t have 2 dollars in my wallet... I don’t have any dollars in my wallet!
And due to my lack of paper currency, if I’m not in it, I can’t win it. And I wanna win it, which has got me to thinking (again) about the new(er) ways to pay. When we last tackled the topic, I think we were ranting about wearable rings, speedos, the Rio Games and maybe Ryan Lochte’s hair. We’re now approaching a saturation point when it comes to places (on the body) to put payment mechanisms (especially if you’re in Rio!).