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
Slam the Brakes on Gas Pump Fraud and Rental Car Scams This Memorial Day Weekend
The process of secretly reading data off credit and debit cards (aka skimming) could be netting criminals as much as $3 billion a year in the US, according to Bankinfosecurity.com.
As we look forward to Memorial Day weekend here in the U.S., travelers are getting ready for road trips to their favorite destinations. Whether it’s a beach party in Miami, snorkeling in Catalina Island, or even a staycation, payments – and more specifically, payment fraud – is a huge consideration for travelers, especially during the holiday weekend. I sat down with one of our payments fraud experts, Seth Ruden, to talk about what travelers must look out for regarding payment fraud and how they can keep their money safe. Here’s what he told me.
Cutting the Cost and Complexity of Merchant Payments – But Not the Customer Experience
New research from ACI and Ovum, released this week, highlights that many merchants in 2018 are investing in creating operational efficiencies in their payments systems. But the question is, as they strive to simplify systems and cut costs, will customer experience suffer?
Despite the Hype, Machine Learning, Models, Behavioral Profiling and the Customer Experience are Still Fundamental
Think about the last time you got a fraud decline. Where were you? In the grocery store? Buying airline tickets? On holiday? Shopping in the same place you’ve been a dozen times, but across the border? How frustrating was that, what did it do to your perspective, your mood, your confidence in your financial institution? This can be embarrassing and inconvenient, stressful and alarming for the consumer. There are few things that can be more disruptive in our day-to-day lives then the lack of access to your funds, or the care taken by your financial institution after a fraud occurs. According to ACI’s Global Consumer Fraud Survey, 20% of people may decide this is too much and move along to another financial institution.
Cross-Border eCommerce Expansion: A Fraud Perspective
For merchants that are expanding their online presence overseas, enabling the right locally-preferred alternative payment methods and connecting to local acquirers can be a critical determinant of success. But without considering fraud management strategy in tandem with payments strategy, the road to cross-border success could be a bumpy (not to mention costly) one.
The 12 Biggest Security Threats to Payments
Consumers ask a lot of you in terms of convenience, speed and, above all, security. This puts the pressure on you to offer a pain-free consumer experience that is also highly secure. And when you accept payments, you need to secure all parts of your organization. Here’s an actual example: one major breach occurred when an air conditioning vendor was hacked, allowing hackers to access the corporate network and finally the point of sale network. This highlights the importance of understanding the threat landscape we face today.
Maintain Vs. Invest: What the Digital Era Ushers in for Banks
Taking place this week in Brussels, the European Credit Research Institute (ECRI) will host a high-level debate on how policymakers can build on the process of digitalisation of banks to raise competitiveness in light of increased competition from fintech start-ups and tech giants.
Ursinus College: The Future of Campus Commerce is in the Cloud
Sixty-eight percent of schools are moving eCommerce to the cloudi. As Ellucian Live begins to descend upon San Diego this week, ACI’s Gene Scriven took a moment to chat with Ellen Curcio, Director of Student Accounts at Ursinus College, about the future of campus commerce.
Be sure to catch Ellen and Gene, as well as ACI partner and host Ellucian at the event on Wednesday, April 11, for a panel discussion on “The Future of eCommerce in the Cloud.”
Fraud Awareness Month Canada
A couple years ago, I penned a blog post to commend the Canadians on what made their culture so resilient to fraud that it developed the lowest fraud rates in the Northern Hemisphere. It got a bit of circulation and created significant positive feedback. This time, I would like to bring awareness back to Canada about a potential threat as it relates to the increasingly popular Tap payment channel.
Telcos Have a Unique Opportunity to Drive Mobile Payments
We are witnessing a significant and inevitable shift in digital payments towards mobile commerce. In the next ten years, we will see an exponential expansion in the number of devices and applications we will use to make mobile payments. You could pay for your groceries on your mobile, for delivery at home, then two days later receive a message from your fridge alerting you that the milk is running low. By the time you get back home, a new bottle of milk could be waiting for you, thanks to real-time delivery, even by a drone.
Securely Growing Online Sales in 2018: An Australian Perspective
Back in November 2017, I participated in a panel discussion for NORA (National Online Retail Association), where I looked at fraud trends in Australia over the previous holiday shopping season and made predictions to help retailers prepare. Now looking back, I am sorry to say that my predictions were painfully accurate.