Nearly five months after officially transforming its Android Pay brand into Google Pay (which has also merged with the Google Wallet service), Google has been busy introducing new upgrades to its contactless mode of payment. As a matter of fact, a couple of months ago the tech giant had taken the opportunity to reveal major upgrades for its mobile payment system during this year’s I/O developer conference.
Well, some of the most notable of those upgrades are now starting to go live. One of them is full support for peer to peer payments. With this feature, users can now send money or ask for cash from a family member or friend directly within the main Google Pay mobile app. Previously, this was only allowed by way of Google Pay Send (more on this later).
As pointed out by Gerardo Capiel, the director of product management at Google Pay, the peer to peer payment support should make it easier for a group of buddies to split the bill for any product or service purchased with Google Pay. A user can just tap on the purchase, and then request his friends to chip in (one can ask funds from up to five people).
With the Google Pay brand, Google is essentially unifying all of its payment related services. Based on this logic, it is quite possible that Google Pay Send might be discontinued soon, or more accurately, integrated as a functionality of the bigger Google Pay platform. But considering that Google Pay is now turning into a one stop shop for mobile payments, this may be a wise decision on Google’s part.
Peer to peer payments support aside, the Google Pay mobile app now also comes with the ability to store mobile tickets and boarding passes, which should be easily accessible by way of a new Passes tab that will also feature loyalty cards and gift cards. At launch, service providers such as Southwest and Ticketmaster already have support. Looking forward, Google is planning to bring in Eventbrite, Singapore Airlines, and Vueling.
Google Pay should grow to be a useful service for Android mobile users, but as explained by Capiel, the ultimate objective is to have all consumers use the mobile operating system. He even envisions Apple users gaining access to Google Pay features through an iOS mobile app, or via the information superhighway. Apart from adding even newer features, the folks at Google should be busy in the near future expanding Google Pay’s reach in international mobile markets.
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