Shopping-focused Google Pay revamp reportedly in the works

While primarily for in-store, contactless payments, Google Pay in recent years has expanded to encompass convenient airline boarding passes and transit tickets. An upcoming redesign will reportedly give the app a shopping focus in the US.

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According to The Information today, Google is “working on a major overhaul of its payment app.” The goal is to make a “one-stop portal for commerce” where shoppers can directly buy from participating online and physical retailers inside the new app. This redesign will feature “branded buttons” from important merchants, though today’s report does not have any insight into how many partners Google has attracted.

Google is trying to bring the success it has with digital payments abroad stateside. Much of the rumored Pay functionality is already available in the version of the app (Tez) live in India. This includes in-app ride hailing and food ordering with this centralized, one-app-for-everything concept especially popular in Asia.

Another goal is to boost US adoption of Google Pay as tech companies in general try to offer more financial services to get more data and revenue. Google is rumored to be working on checking accounts and debit cards that offer a modern user experience.

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A Google spokesperson confirmed to The Information that it plans to bring Pay’s international model to other parts of the world, though that experience would be tailored to every market. Similarly, CEO Sundar Pichai on its Q4 2019 earnings call this year said it has plans to revamp its payments approach worldwide:

We’ve had a lot of traction with our payments product over the past 18 months. We had a tremendously successful launch in India from which we learned a lot of features, and we’re bringing that and we’re revamping our payments products globally. And so I’m excited about that rollout, which is coming up in 2020. I think that will make the experience better.

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In general, this new focus for Google Pay would be quite ambitious and attempts to capitalize on changing consumer habits amid the pandemic. More and more people are using food/grocery delivery services and shopping online. Such an app might have some crossover with Google Shopping, and hopefully does not detract from letting people quickly make purchases with stored cards.

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