Google Pay Brings Mobile Payments to Ticketing

May 11, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

For a while, Google’s entry into the mobile payments arena, Android Pay, was almost a lackluster afterthought, overshadowed by the more specialized Samsung Pay and the Apple Pay system found on a completely different platform. With the switch to Google Pay, however, Google’s breathing some new life into this former also-ran, and now, recently announced that it’s made a big step forward in ticket sales.

Google recently revealed at its I/O developer conference in Mountain View that Google Pay systems would now support event tickets and boarding passes, a move which was a significant step up from its previous support for basically just loyalty cards and similar offers.

While Google had previously announced a couple months back that support for prepaid tickets on public transit systems in Portland and Las Vegas would be arriving, this is a significant step forward. Now, Google Pay can be used on Southwest Airlines, Singapore Airlines, FortressGB, and Eventbrite.

In fact, Google Pay has already taken some other significant steps forward; just recently it stepped into other browsers and actually made an appearance on iOS, which allowed Apple device users to turn to Google Pay to manage the information in a Google account, send and receive money, and view transaction history. Ticketmaster is just one of several set to follow thanks to the use of Google’s application programming interface (API) system.

That’s a long way from where Google Pay was, and possibly a longer way from where Android Pay was. While Android Pay had a good idea behind it—be the payment system of choice for Android devices—it was a plan that was badly undercut by the fact that Android device makers seemed to want in on the payment processing gig themselves. From Samsung Pay to LG Pay to even Huawei Pay, most Android device makers became competitors to the Android payment system. That left Google in a bad spot, but the change so far seems positive.

It’s a good start, but Google will have a ways to go before it can get ground back in a market with entrenched competitors. Apple Pay and Samsung Pay will hardly give ground, though Google certainly has the name recognition to trade on.