Google has announced today that it's reorganizing all of its web and mobile based payments systems and bringing them into one, simple and far-reaching product: Google Pay. Like Apple Pay this isn't going to just include contactless NFC-based mobile payments, but all manner of online and digital transactions.
In short, Google Pay is the search giant's way of unifying Android Pay, Google Wallet and Chrome's autofill payment information.
If you have payment information saved to you Google account, you can pay online, in store and in apps using Google Pay.
If you've already got payment information saved with Google, you shouldn't need to do anything else. Wherever the service is available you should start seeing "G Pay" at checkouts, whether that be buying something from Google's online store, subscribing to YouTube Red, or paying within an app that supports it already.
You'll also start seeing the G Pay logo on contactless POS systems in physical retail stores, where you can authenticate payments just using your smartphone and its built-in NFC chip.
As it stands, a handful of big-name apps already support the service and those include the likes of Airbnb, B&H, Dice, HungryHouse, Instacart, Fandango and others.
At the end of today's announcement, Google suggests that this is only the beginning for Google Pay and that the company will share more at a later date.
You may remember Google was the first company to bring NFC payments to phones under the Google Wallet brand, which then eventually evolved into Android Pay.
With Chrome autofill payments, changing the name and bringing everything under one umbrella certainly makes sense. It makes the services less individual, and potentially confusing. It also means much more brand awareness for a service that many users aren't even aware exists.
It also makes a lot of sense from another perspective. With competition heating up between itself and Amazon, this is about more than just competing with Apple Pay. We think this could be about having a single purchasing tool available across every device you own.
With the rise of smart home systems and increasing number of Google Assistant devices like Google Home being launched, it's not too difficult to imagine being able to use voice commands to authenticate purchasing items, similar to how the Echo works with Amazon's online store.
Of course, Google hasn't announced anything of the sort yet, but, "Hey Google, buy me a skateboard" may not be far away.
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