Google (Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL)) announced a slew of new features and partnerships to expand Android Pay’s functionality in their bid to create the definitive mobile payment platform. Among all, the most interesting one is the integration of Google Assistant which allows smartphone users to send more in a much faster way.
Smartphones today dominate practically every aspect of our lives. They have fundamentally changed how we think about so many things, including money. From metallic coins to paper bills, to payment cards, we are now in the era of digital mobile wallets. One of the biggest players in this industry is, of course, Google’s Android Pay.
The most interesting feature of the new API is the Google Assistant integration. Users will soon be able to send money to people via a simple spoken command. This undoubtedly provides an unprecedented level convenience to small financial transactions. It is also yet another in a list of growing features that the Google Assistant enjoys as Google’s battle against Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri in the war for the virtual digital assistant space.
Lastly, Google also unveiled the Card Linked Offers API, which is aimed at providing merchants with the ability to implement loyalty, offers and reward programs via Android Pay itself. For example, Panera Bread, who will soon implement this feature nationally, will allow members with loyalty cards to discover offers and learn about new menu items via Android Pay when they are in the store. Similarly, Walgreens will also soon add Android pay integration to their loyalty program across 8000+ stores across the US. The integration will be done via a simple notification for Android Pay users who have a Walgreens loyalty account.
Google is clearly deeply committed to Android Pay. Along with gradually expanding the list of supported countries, Google is also collaborating with Clover (a First Data company) in order to expand their reach to smaller businesses and retailers too. With the Clover’s Development APIs, Google has allowed developers an easy way to create Android loyalty, gift redemption and coupon apps. The mobile wallet market industry is set for booming growth in the next few years, with an expected valuation of nearly $3,142.17 billion by 2022! It would seem like Google are intent on capturing as much of this market as they possibly can.