After announcing a coming rebranding for its Android Pay mobile and online payment service in January, Alphabet Inc.’s Google subsidiary on Tuesday formally unveiled the new Google Pay. But the rebranding, centered on a new mobile app for Android devices, is a work in progress, with more changes and new features yet to come.
“The app, which begins rolling out today, is just one part of everything we’ve got planned,” Gerardo Capiel, product management director of consumer payments, and Varouj Chitilian, engineering director in the same unit, said in a joint blog post. “We’re currently working on bringing Google Pay to all Google products, so whether you’re shopping on [Google’s Internet browser] Chrome or with your [voice-controlled] Assistant, you’ll have a consistent checkout experience using the cards saved to your Google account. We’re also working with partners online and in stores, so you’ll see Google Pay on sites, in apps, and at your favorite places around the world.”
Among the notable developments mentioned in the post, Google’s person-to-person payments service, most recently known as Google Wallet, has been rebranded as Google Pay Send. “We’re giving it a fresh coat of paint to go with the Google Pay brand,” the post says. Residents of the United States and the United Kingdom will be able to send and request money “within the next few months.”
And with its eye on a potentially massive market for contactless mobile payments, Google has enabled Google Pay to hold transit passes in London, Portland, Ore., and Kiev, “with more coming soon,” according to the post.
A major aim of the rebranding is to give unity to Mountain View, Calif.-based Google’s various payment services, which have gone through several name changes and iterations since Google’s original service, Google Checkout, launched in 2006. While mobile payments have yet to catch fire in the U.S., researchers say Apple Inc.’s Apple Pay is the early consumer favorite.
“Google’s rebranding and repackaging of its various payments services under a unified umbrella is an important step that will add cohesiveness to its strategy,” Jordan McKee, principal analyst for payments at New York City-based 451 Research, tells Digital Transactions News by email. “The approach should also help to drive user enrollments and streamline barriers to onboarding. To execute effectively, it will need to invest significantly in consumer and merchant education to increase awareness and understanding.”