Google Pay Launch Goes Live

February 22, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

While for awhile there, Google’s mobile payments plans were pretty badly fractured, events were taking place behind the scenes to help unify the offerings and bring them together under one handy umbrella. That effort has finally borne fruit, and Google Pay is now officially live, thanks to reports from the company.

Reports suggest that the new Google Pay system comes with a variety of tools to help users make payments more readily as well as find out more things to make payments on. A new Home tab, for example, offers access to information like recent purchases, available stores in the immediate area, and new access to rewards programs. The Cards tab, meanwhile, contains not only payment cards, but also loyalty program information and even gift cards.

Travelers will be happy to know about the new connection to transit systems worldwide—an item which is expanding to cover more cities as rapidly as possible—and even new security and encryption protocols to help keep all those payment vectors secure.

Even many features formerly connected to Android Pay are making the jump to Google Pay; bank offers and auto-fill forms are in play at last report.

On the one hand, this is a good move. Google’s mobile payments efforts had been so fractured for so long it was hard to tell where the company was and where it wasn’t. On the other, this may not really fix the problem. Google Pay or Android Pay, it’s going to have much the same problem; why would any of the device makers involved give Google preferential treatment or even the time of day here? Samsung Pay is already in play, and running like a top. Why would its users suddenly say, whoops, there’s Google Pay, better stop using Samsung Pay. More likely they’ll just ignore it. That’s a big chunk of the Android-based mobile payments market gone right there.

Google’s shift to Google Pay may not solve its biggest problem—breaking users out of the already-established Android-based mobile payments camp—but it’s a good start. Google had better have something else waiting in the wings or it may find Google Pay is just a new Google Flop.