Android Pay Hits the Web With Big Partnerships
As TechCrunch reports Google announced today that Android users would be able to utilize Android Pay to complete transactions on mobile sites that are equipped to take Visa Checkout or Masterpass starting early next year. This not only keeps Android in competition with Apple, who recently brought Apple Pay to their Safari web browser, but also helps Google, Visa, and MasterCard to take on the likes of PayPal who had a headstart in third party online payments. More important this interesting development promises big things for users, retailers, and the FinTech space.
The biggest benefit being touted by Google is that retailers who already offer Visa Checkout or Masterpass will now be able to accept Android Pay as well, without having to make any changes on their end. In fact the company says that the new button will update automatically. For retailers the hope is that adding another payment option could help boost their mobile conversion rate, which, although on the rise, continues to lag behind desktop transactions.
For users this partnership is simply a matter of convenience, although it might not be as convenient as you might assume. While the ability for Android Pay fans to bypass the need to sign up for Visa’s or MasterCard’s services would likely be an appealing proposition, that’s sadly not what this partnership entails. Instead users will need to link their Android Pay account to their other respective accounts in order to complete transactions. While it does still save them the hassle of remembering multiple passwords and the ability to utilize biometric technology instead, this setup may prove to be a frustration to some.
In a blog post by Google’s global head of payments, Pali Bhat, he said, “This latest partnership with Visa and Mastercard is an example of how Android Pay can work with partners’ existing solutions to improve the payments experience for users and merchants alike.” That may be true but it also goes against the recent trend of retailers going their own way when it comes to mobile payments. As a result Google, Visa, and MasterCard may find that this partnership is not the solution the aforementioned merchants and users were looking for.
Despite that possibility there’s no doubting that this is a big move. If nothing else it is promising to see companies with different focuses come together when appropriate — something the FinTech sector should see more of, honestly. With that in mind it will be interesting to see how this experiment pays off come next year when the partnership goes into effect.