Not only did the 2018 I/O developer conference bring new updates with regards to Google’s upcoming Android P mobile operating system (whose beta can now be downloaded, provided you have a compatible smartphone device) and other really cool stuff, this year’s event also announced big upgrades for the tech giant’s own mobile payment system, Google Pay.
Over a month ago, Google’s vice president of product management for payments Pali Bhat announced that their existing payment features Google Wallet and Android Pay would be consolidated into one platform. The announcement, made via a blog entry, revealed that this was a rebranding into the new Google Pay service. The goal was to unify the payment platforms offered by the tech giant as well as to make the process simpler for its users.
According to a report recently published by Yonhap News, it appears that LG’s own take on the mobile payment system concept -- LG Pay -- will be launching in the United States some time within the first six months of this year. It is quite possible though that LG Pay will make its American debut with a new brand name -- LG Wallet. As reported by Android Police, a mobile app with an identical name was seen listed in Google Play last week, but it has since been removed during the weekend.
In a blog entry recently posted in Google’s official blog by Pali Bhat, the vice president of product management for payments at Google, it was announced that existing payment features Android Pay and Google Wallet will now be merged under one brand name -- Google Pay. As described by Bhat, the decision is more of a rebranding move, not only to unify the tech giant’s current payment platforms, but more importantly to simplify everything for its users.
Owners of iPhone devices should already be able to use Apple Pay Cash starting this week. The service is arriving by way of a new update that is part of iOS 11.2, which was rolled out just a few days ago. For those not familiar with Apple Pay Cash yet, it comes with a functionality that basically allows iOS mobile users to directly send payments via iMessage.
Google has just announced that it is debuting a “Pay with Google” feature that allows users to complete payment transactions via mobile devices using any card they have on file, including those saved to the user’s Google Account by way of services like Android Pay, Google Play, Chrome, or YouTube. Basically what the new feature does is lump all the user’s saved payment options in one interface. The cool thing is that creators of mobile apps, as well as retail businesses, can also take full advantage of the same interface.
Wells Fargo has recently revealed that over 5,000 of its automated teller machines (ATMs) have now been upgraded to include support for cardless withdrawal transactions. Instead of using their bank cards, customers can just make full use of near field communications technology (NFC), the same tech being tapped in mobile payment systems such as Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay.
According to a report recently released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), people will be completing mobile payment transactions more than credit card payments by the year 2019. This trend may not entirely be unexpected -- the UN report points out that about three years ago, credit card transactions only made up 51 percent of payments made in developed countries across the globe. Before the end of this decade, that percentage is projected to decrease to 46 percent, mainly because of the increasing appreciation of mobile payments among consumers and also, improvements in the technology itself.
This particular idea could need some getting used to -- Samsung’s very own mobile payment system functioning in other handsets not branded with the South Korean phone maker’s name. But this idea could be brought to life soon. According to a report recently published by Gadgets 360, the world’s biggest seller of smartphone devices is apparently planning to bring its contactless mode of payment to other phones.
When the Venmo mobile payment app (which is owned by PayPal) started introducing support for third party apps last year, many saw the move as a ploy to get more money by way of additional business transactions, including those coming from Delivery.com, Parking Panda, and even Poshmark.
It goes without saying that Venmo is hardly the only service of its kind -- rival Zelle happens to have the backing of over 30 major banking institutions with operations in the United States, and on top of that, Zelle can transfer funds easily between the bank’s own mobile apps without ever needing to make use of a middleman such as PayPal or even Facebook’s Messenger platform.
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