Google has so many services, they probably know every last credit card you own. The problem, of course, is that none of these services talk to each other, so one credit card sits on one service, far, far away from another where you might actually want to use that card. But not anymore!
As TechCrunch reports, Google has implemented a new system called Pay With Google, which is really just what they should have done in the first place. Now, if you’re using mobile payments, all the different cards you’ve used to buy fart apps off Google Play and buy stuff in Chrome over the years will be gathered into one place, letting you choose the card instead of having to sit down and punch all those numbers into yet another app. The appeal, if you’ve ever wanted to buy a coffee after a jog and forgotten your wallet, is obvious.
But will this do anything to kickstart mobile payments? Outside of Silicon Valley, nobody seems to particularly care about mobile payments, as it’s drifted into more of a niche for situations where people want to grab one thing and run a quick errand, instead of how we pay for things on a daily basis. Google is clearly hoping that being able to tap your whole wallet, not just the one card you begrudgingly entered into Android Pay, will loosen people up and get them using the system more.
But the main issue is and always has been there’s just not enough time to be saved. Mobile payments are neat, but there’s no functional difference between rummaging around your bag or your pockets for your wallet versus trying to claw your phone from the seeming Stygian depths both it and your wallet can slip into when you’re the guy buying a soda as a huge line stretches behind you. While we’ve seen some interesting concepts involving mobile payments, like stores where you just pull stuff off the shelf and leave, so far, mobile payments are a solution in search of a problem, and Google needs to spend more time finding that problem.