Last week in the Google I/O developer conference, Google made a number of interesting payments-related announcements. I would encourage anyone interested in this to look at the full video online, but here are some highlights and my takeaways. Google has discussed:
- Google Payment API, which enables merchants to let their customers check out via any cards stored with Google. When the customer is ready to check out, they hit a ‘Pay with Google’ button and are presented with the available payment options – any cards they have in their Google account they may have registered to pay for apps and services in Google Play or YouTube. Importantly, it also includes cards registered via Android Pay. Google is piloting this API over the the next few months and is partnering with the leading payment service providers, such as Braintree, Stripe, Vantiv, ACI, Adyen, First Data and Worldpay, to take it to market. This will work in-app, via the browser and via Google Assistant.
- Google Shopping API to integrate into Google Home, and the ability to build Purchase Actions with Google Assistant. In the example shared by the executives on stage, customers can talk via the Assistant to Panera, request an item and pay for it via a card stored on the Google account while authenticating with their fingerprint. They also showed how the Gmail Send Money function can now be triggered via a voice command, bringing P2P payments capability to the Assistant. In future, there are plans to onboard other P2P providers.
- Loyalty enrolment, engagement and redemption support for in-store merchants. Participating merchants will allow customers to save their loyalty programmes directly to Android Pay, get notifications of available offers via Android Pay and redeem via Smart Tap, a service for which Google partnered with First Data and its Clover platform.
At the foundational level, Android Pay continues to make international inroads. It’s already available in 10 markets and is launching soon in Brazil, Canada, Russia, Spain and Taiwan. Also, one of the most important features (in my view) is something that’s already available, yet perhaps didn’t get enough acknowledgement in the market when launched: the push provisioning API.
Issuers that integrate push provisioning API allow their cardholders to add cards into Android Pay directly from their mobile banking apps. More importantly, the user can get all the benefits of Android Pay without having to download and set up the Android Pay app itself. Certainly, that’s one adoption barrier less to worry about. Bank of America, bnz, Discover, mBank, USAA and Westpac are among the first banks that have integrated push provisioning API.
This isn’t the first time Google made interesting announcements around payments – back in 2011, Google Wallet generated a lot of excitement among all of us following mobile payments. It appears that the latest API-driven approach with Android Pay as the foundation makes ‘paying with Google’ an exciting prospect again.
– This article is reproduced with kind permission. Some minor changes have been made to reflect BankNXT style considerations. Read more here. Photo by ulyana_andreeva, Shutterstock.com