Google Pay was expected to launch early this year, at about the same time as Samsung Pay, but will eventually land in France this fall. Google Pay was launched in the beginning of 2018 in the US and in some other European countries (UK, Spain, Belgium, etc.) to merge Android Pay and Google Wallet, but hasn’t been very successful so far.
Google intends to build a service as successful as Tez, recently rebranded to Google Pay. The P2P transfer service attracted roughly 25 million users in India in just than a year.
In addition to use cases within Google’s own ecosystem (Gmail, YouTube and Google Store), this wallet allows customers to pay for their purchases in NFC equipped stores. The users will not have to open the app, they may just tap their phone to the payment terminal to validate their transaction. They may also pay online through clicking a “Buy with Google Pay” button. Just like Apple Pay, Google Pay lets its users store flight tickets and concert seats. This option has been added in July this year.
Google still seems to have difficulties convincing French banks –an issue Apple also had to overcome. For now, their list of partners does not include any other local institutions than BPCE. To begin with, this service should then exclusively be proposed to their customers.
Comments – Wallet manufacturers have trouble scaling up in Europe
Over the past two years, Google has been trying to increase adoption rates for their m-payment apps. Google Wallet and Android Pay did not meet (or barely met) their public. This new attempt is a way for the group to aim for French customers, however, they still need local banking partners. Their wallet will have to face competition from market leaders including Samsung Pay and Apple Pay. According to the consulting group Auriemma, in 2017, only 4% of the cardholders relied on Android Pay in the UK and US: 2 to 3 times fewer than Apple Pay.
In France –and in Europe– m-payment apps are taking time to take off; so far, they failed to replace card payments. On the French market, the volume of contactless transactions increased by 156% year-over-year. Meanwhile, Western banks remain reluctant to sharing data with the US “Big Four”. However, these institutions may eventually try to comply with expectations expressed by some of their customers, as was the case with Apple Pay.