Google Contacts has now been added with the ability to send money via Google Pay Send, according to Android Police. Until now, users could send and receive money directly from the Android Messages app via Google Wallet (now Google Pay Send).
Android Police first reported the existence of such a feature last week in their teardown of the Google Contacts app. Now, the same feature is reported by a Canadian user, who was running Google Contacts v2.5 on the Nexus 6P. The user noticed a ‘Send’ icon, courtesy of one of Google’s server-side updates, according to Android Police.
The feature to send money via Google Pay Send is not functional for now, suggesting the search giant could be testing it with a handful of users. The User interface is just the same as the Android Message, but users are allowed to choose from their contact method, like SMS, email, etc.
This new facility of sending money via Google Pay Send would come in very handy. A user will be allowed to send money just by choosing from the contact, a more natural and logical way of sending money. The receive money option, however, is still missing, but it would be a natural addition once the send option starts working. Also, Android Police’s Google Contacts APK teardown suggests the feature is in the works.
The new update seems part of the Google Pay v1.54. During the last teardown of Google Pay, there was something about managing transit tickets, like recording trips from point A to point B to make it easy to track usage. The concept existed before and already worked with some commuter trains and subways, but the new teardown suggests something beyond just direct payments to include passes and tickets.
According to Android Police, the text talks about a few specific places, mainly the transit station names. In the previous teardown, the text was in the form of codes leaving it impossible to crack them. However, the latest update expands those codes, for example, in Las Vegas, suggesting names of the most famous casino resorts in the world. These names are on the stops along the Las Vegas Monorail – SLS, Westgate, Convention Center, Harrah’s & The LINQ, Flamingo & Caesar’s Palace, Bally’s & Paris, and MGM Grand.
Other than these names, Mandalay Bay has also found its mention in the list. This stop has a tram service, but it does not fall in the same route. Instead, it is the end point of short rail that also stops at the Luxor, Tropicana, Excalibur, notes Android Police.
Google Pay was launched last month as an answer to Apple Pay. The app came into being after several failed attempts from Google to come up with a one-stop payment platform. Before Google Pay, the search engine giant launched Google Wallet and Android Pay. It would be safe to say that Google Pay combines the features of both, such as the ability to pay at checkout counters with a smartphone and also the option to scan into transit systems. Just like Apple Pay, Google Pay would also let the users send money. Apart from Apple Pay, Google’s pay service will also compete with services such as Facebook Messenger, PayPal and Venmo.
To further capture the payment industry, the search giant previously rolled out Google Tez – a standalone payment application in India. And last week, to make it more efficient, the search giant introduced a chat feature on its UPI-based payment app Tez.
Confirming the development, the Google spokesperson told ET, “We’ve added a feature to Tez that allows you to send simple messages back and forth to your contacts about the payments you make.” With the new feature, Tez now competes directly with the instant messaging app WhatsApp, with the payment feature being tested in India. Local digital payments player, Paytm also launched the chat service – Paytm Inbox – to challenge the Facebook-owned WhatsApp.
About Google Pay, it is integrated into a host of ecosystems of payment, and works only with the merchants that accept it as a payment option. Unlike Tez, Google Pay works with the devices that support NFC. Thus, one of the challenges for Google Pay is that most of the NFC-enabled phones fall into the mid to high price segment making it unfit for the masses.