Google Pay for both Android and iOS is relaunching with a giant array of new features. It turns the app from something that most people think of as a tap-to-pay card repository or peer-to-peer payment system into a much more ambitious service. The new app begins rolling out across the United States today.
The brand new model of the app may have three new tabs: “Pay,” which incorporates peer-to-peer funds in addition to your transaction historical past utilizing tap-to-pay; “Discover,” which might be a spot the place Google will provide offers and reductions; and at last, “Insights,” which is able to let you join your financial institution accounts to get a searchable overview of your funds.
You’ll even be given the choice to permit Google Pay to crawl your Gmail inbox and your Google Pictures account to search for receipts. Google will use OCR know-how to auto-scan them and combine them into your finance monitoring.
he new version of the app will have three new tabs: “Pay,” which includes peer-to-peer payments as well as your transaction history using tap-to-pay; “Explore,” which will be a place where Google will offer deals and discounts; and finally, “Insights,” which will allow you to connect your bank accounts to get a searchable overview of your finances.
You will even be given the option to allow Google Pay to crawl your Gmail inbox and your Google Photos account to look for receipts. Google will use OCR technology to auto-scan them and integrate them into your finance tracking.
Google Pay is now arguably a direct competitor to a wide array of other apps and services, including Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, PayPal, Venmo, Square Cash, Intuit’s Mint, Simplifi, Truebill, Shop, and also online banks like Ally. That is a lot of companies that will have to contend with Google making a high-profile push into their market.
You can search for food or “gas last month” and find those specific transactions. You can even get more nitty gritty, especially if you’ve linked your cards and photos. If you took a picture of your receipt at REI, for instance, you can search for the word “tent” and Google will even scan your Photos to find that word and pull up that transaction. You can enable Pay to pull in receipts from Gmail, too. Woodward explained in a roundtable after the event that this is to help reduce the need to tag every transaction for you to be able to find it later.
Google will also send you reports on your activity. At the start of the week, for example, Pay will show things like “here’s what you spent on this weekend,’ Woodward said. It will also present pages of information it feels is useful, like a list of services you’re subscribed to, for example.
With all that sensitive data saved in one spot, privacy and security are obviously important. Sengupta said in a roundtable after the event that the app features a privacy-forward approach. Google Pay exec Venkat Rapaka said you should see this throughout your experience with the new app, from setup to months after. First, your transactions and money transfers are only visible to you (and the person you’re sending money to). The app will require authentication each time you open it and before transactions. Transaction data will not be shared with the rest of Google when it comes to targeting ads, Rapaka said.
Google also announced Plex accounts today in collaboration with financial institutions to give more users a mobile-friendly banking app experience. You can join a waitlist via the Pay app today, and the first of these accounts will be available next year.