Alphabet Inc’s Google on Wednesday relaunched its U.S. payments app, making major changes to make sending money to friends easier and help people better understand their finances.
Google introducing paid promotions to the service and opening a waitlist for bank accounts being launched next year with Citigroup Inc and 10 other institutions.
According to the company partners such as Citi starting next year will activate checkings and savings accounts with no monthly fees, overdraft charges or minimum balance rules. The Citi Plex users will get free access to its network of 60,000 ATMs nationwide, the megabank said on Wednesday. The offering is Citi’s first bundled savings and checking account.
So now users can transact with groups of people all thanks to the group payment feature, search transactions, view analytics and explore cashback offers from merchants including Burger King and Target Corp .
The new interface will focus on your relationships rather than transactions, meaning it groups your activity by the people and businesses you’ve interacted with. It enables contactless payments in stores and money transfers. Hence, you will be able to use Google Pay to make purchases in restaurants, gas stations, and parking services within the app in select cities starting today. The updated app is available to download on Android and iOS today.
Google will receive a distribution fee for those promotions, opening a small new line of revenue for the advertising giant. Transactions will not affect the ads that users see on other Google services, it said.
“Our goal is to be the all-in-one app that gives users more value and control out of their money,” said Caesar Sengupta, who oversees Google’s payment initiatives. Pay has more than 150 million monthly users spanning 30 countries.
The new U.S. app works at over 100,000 restaurants, 30,000 gas stations and 400 cities’ parking meters, Google said.
The redesigned home page has simplify your payment process. Once the app is launched, it will show your favorite friends and businesses, so you just need to tap the person or partner you want to pay, instead of wasting time searching your contact.
Thanks to the new Insights section of the app, you can now see all your spending and pull information from connected bank accounts, credit and debit cards. It will remind you when bills are due, alert you to large purchases (in case of suspicious activity) and show you your weekly expenditure.
Caesar Sengupta, who oversees Google’s payment initiatives said the company’s goal in redesigning the app was “to gamify saving and make it a lot more fun.”
Alibaba Group, Apple Inc, Samsung Electronics Co and PayPal Holdings Inc also offer mobile wallets aiming to be hubs for shopping and banking, with the companies battling over security and other features. source- Reuter