Payments

Google Pay brings payment tools under a single brand

  • Google Pay unified all payment products under the Google Pay name, a way to drive adoption
  • If you're not at the top of the wallet, you disappear
close

Email a Friend

Google Pay brings payment tools under a single brand

Google’s many payments tools are getting one big rebrand.

The Internet giant is finally putting its many payments capabilities — Google Wallet, Android Pay and Pay with Google — under a single name, Google Pay, after lagging for years behind Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.

“It’s basic marketing to unify your message,” said David True, partner at PayGility Advisors. “It decreases confusion on where Google is going — they’re doing what Apple did years ago and Samsung, by calling it a ‘pay’.”

Of course, payment transactions are also one of the easiest ways to acquire user data, which a company like Google could use to drive ad sales. Connecting data on what customers search for with what they’re actually buying could help them better target ads, True noted. Google Pay is already available on Airbnb, Dice, Fandango, HungryHouse and Instacart.

Google’s road to mobile payments is riddled with the bones of past failures. It stumbled with Google Wallet in 2011, the first attempt at a mobile wallet for consumers that never really took off — and was overshadowed by Apple Pay, which launched months later.

Over the past decade, Google has put a number of different payment tools on the market, making the overall identity and value proposition of Google’s payments division more fragmented. Google Checkout, a payment processing service that launched 10 years ago, morphed into NFC-enable Google Wallet in 2011. Android Pay replaced Google Wallet on Android phones in 2015, but Google Wallet lives on as a peer-to-peer payments app for iOS users. Last year, Google scrapped its Hands Free pilot, a retail payments program it began testing almost a year ago that allowed people to use facial recognition technology to pay for items in-store. It also pulled the plug on BebaPay, a Kenyan electronic payment card in 2015, after just two years of operations. Google Tez and Google Play balance also still fall under Google’s payments umbrella.

By unifying various capabilities under one product, the move helps refresh the brand identity and simplifies the experience for the consumer. But it also further removes bank brands from the payments process as they vie for top-of-wallet status — and banks are already worried about defending their share of customer attention.

“If you’re not at the top of the wallet, you disappear,” said Thad Peterson, senior analyst at Aite Group.

Bringing payment products under Google Pay is just a first step. The company suggested it will add additional features to keep consumers in its ecosystem. With more people using digital wallets, banks can keep customers attached to their card brands through marketing that emphasizes those added features, like loyalty points.

“Digital wallets in the U.S. are kind of behind what we see happening in Asia and China with Alipay and WeChat with the ability to pay bills, buy tickets and make appointments,” said Brendan Miller, principal analyst at Forrester Research. “Hopefully, that is the direction Google is thinking about — the trend we see is that payments are being subsumed by e-commerce experiences.”

0 comments on “Google Pay brings payment tools under a single brand”

Member Exclusive, Payments

Payments Briefing: Is the ‘Apple Pay Later’ hype warranted?

  • This week, we review the hype around Apple Pay Later and try to determine how much of it is justified.
  • We also look at Square’s move to bring Afterpay to in-store purchases, making it even easier to pay in four – and how this greater ease could lead to overspending and growing consumer debt.
Ismail Umar | June 23, 2022
Member Exclusive, Payments

How the global microchip shortage is affecting the payments industry

  • While chip-based payment cards face the biggest threat, experts say the only aspect of payments immune to the shortage is physical currency.
  • As banks look to address the problem, one of the solutions being discussed is extending payment cards' expiration dates.
Subboh Jaffery | June 20, 2022
Payments, Podcasts, What's Happening in Payments Podcast

What’s Happening in Payments Ep. 8: Klarna and the future of BNPL, PayZen’s ‘Care Now, Pay Later’, and Mastercard’s ‘Smile to Pay’ system

  • This week, we discuss whether BNPL offers a sustainable business model for providers, and whether it’s even viable as a standalone business.
  • We also talk about PayZen’s ‘Care Now, Pay Later’ offering, as well as Mastercard’s ‘Smile to Pay’ system, and what it tells us about the future of privacy and security in payments.
Ismail Umar | June 17, 2022
Payments, Sponsored

International remittances: A money movement lifeline ripe for digitization

  • Digital transformation is simplifying how people move money around the world, yet barriers to international P2P transfers remain.
  • In honor of International Day of Family Remittances, Visa shares four tips for how policymakers can better streamline digital remittances.
Visa | June 16, 2022
Member Exclusive, Payments

Payments Briefing: PayZen wants to combat rising medical debt with ‘Care Now, Pay Later’ solution

  • This week, we explore how PayZen uses a variant of BNPL to tackle healthcare affordability in the US.
  • We also hear from Stax CEO Suneera Madhani on the gender gap in fintech.
Ismail Umar | May 26, 2022
More Articles