Google is seeking to focus on developing Google Pay into a multipurpose digital wallet by extending the range of cards, passes and tickets that the service supports and is working with cryptocurrency providers to introduce digital cards that will enable users to store crypto assets but still make payments in conventional currencies.
The company is also planning to add more payment features to its search and shopping services, such as showing consumer loyalty cards and personalised discounts directly in search results.
The plans are part of a strategy to build Google Pay as a “comprehensive” service by further rolling out support for digital tickets, airline passes and vaccine passports and to turn Google into “the connective tissue for the entire consumer finance industry” by integrating with “the entire array of financial services out there”, Google’s president of commerce Bill Ready told Bloomberg in an interview.
Google is already working with Coinbase and BitPay to enable the storing of crypto assets on digital cards and is also now looking to form further partnerships with other cryptocurrency providers, although Google itself does not yet accept cryptocurrency payments, Ready said.
“Crypto is something we pay a lot of attention to. As user demand and merchant demand evolves, we’ll evolve with it,” he added.
Ready also indicated that Google Pay would not be adding fees or commission as part of the “overhaul”, saying that “helping more activity occur on a free and open web — that naturally pays dividends to our overall business”.
His statements follow Google’s decision in October 2021 to abandon plans to develop a digital banking service, known as Plex, according to Bloomberg.
“We’re not a bank — we have no intention of being a bank,” Ready confirmed.
Google Pay began letting users add digital Covid vaccination certificates to their Android device in July 2021.
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