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Google puts its payment services under one roof

Internet giant is bringing all its payment services under the Google Pay brand, making them “simpler, safer and more consistent”

Google is bringing its various payment services under the single Google Pay brand in a move it says will make it easier for customers to make better use of information in their Google accounts.

The payment services that will be brought together under Google Pay include Android Pay and Google Wallet. Android Pay, launched in the UK in 2016, is an alternative to Apple Pay, which launched in the UK a year earlier, and Samsung Pay.

“If you’ve ever paid for groceries with Android Pay, used Chrome to automatically fill in your payment info, or purchased an app on Google Play, then you’ve already experienced some of the ways Google helps you pay for things online and in stores,” said Pali Bhat, Google vice-president of product management, payments.

He said Google has been working towards making these various services “simpler, safer and more consistent”, pointing out that it will now be easier to use the payment information saved to Google accounts.

Google looks set to focus more attention on its payment services. “Bringing everything into one brand is just the first step for Google Pay,” said Bhat.

This could be a sign that Google Bank, a term synonymous with digital disruption in banking, could be a step closer. If consumers begin to recognise the Google payments brand, trust will develop over time, eroding one of the current advantages held by traditional banks.

Consumers want online and mobile banking services that offer similar service levels to the apps they use in their everyday lives – easy to use, reliable and with the built-in ability to personalise services.

Read more about Google financial services

In 2016, a survey of 7,000 people by Fujitsu found that one-fifth of European consumers would buy insurance and banking services from technology companies such as Facebook and Google.

But in its Why Google Bank won’t happen report in 2014, Forrester said the high costs and strict regulation of setting up a traditional bank – alongside advertising revenue coming from banks – will push internet firms into roles that support the relationship between banks and their customers, including transactional payment services, financial advice, money management and product comparisons. 

“By integrating digital assets such as its search engine, Google Maps, Gmail, Google Play and Google Now, Google could redefine financial services,” the report said. “Thanks to these capabilities, Google is well positioned to disrupt four interlinked areas, disintermediating incumbents in the process.”

Read more on IT for financial services

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