What is Google Pay and How Does It Work? (Nov 2020)

An Introduction to Google Pay

In the new age of mobile shopping, apps like Apple Pay and Google Pay give today’s consumers more freedom than ever before. Rather than having to carry your wallet, credit card, and debit card wherever you go, you can use your google pay app as your payment method.

Consumers can simply flash their phone to make a purchase through an NFC connection. This gives modern merchants more flexibility when it comes to offering customers the payment options they want most. In 2018, Google revamped it’s solutions for online and mobile payments, placing everything under the same Google Pay umbrella.

Consumers can use Google Pay for online payments, contactless purchases, in-app purchases and so much more. There’s even the option to share money from person-to-person like with PayPal. Today we’re going to cover everything you need to know about Google Pay, and help you to decide whether it’s the right service for you.

What is Google Pay? The Basics

what is google pay - homepage

Google Pay is a mobile service that enables users to purchase products and services using a compatible android phone with an NFC chip. You can also use Google Pay with a tablet or watch. This online payment system and digital wallet provides a convenient solution for customers in the digital world.

It’s also an excellent way for merchants to give their consumers more options on how to pay. As you may already know if you’re a business owner, offering extra options like android pay and google wallet payments instantly makes your store more appealing.

Google Pay allows users to enjoy the benefits of contactless payments without using a physical visa or MasterCard. You don’t need to carry your wallet with you to use your google account or remember your credit card number. If you have a compatible card on your device, then you’re already ready to go. In order to use Google Pay effectively, all you need to do is download the app and sign into your Google account.

You can access Google Pay through the Google Play store on your Android phone. Once you’ve signed in, you can set up a preferred payment method which is where your transactions will happen every time you use Google Pay.

Business owners and merchants can use the Google Play service with their individual current accounts to begin accepting digital payments instantly. Payments will go straight to your bank account with Google pay, and there are no fees to worry about.

Key Features of Google Pay for Consumers

Google Pay has two levels to it. First of all, this is a digital wallet and convenient way to shop for consumers. With a mobile app, users can make purchase online, in-store, and in apps. Google Pay is also suitable for sending money to friends. For customers, features include:

  • Support for major banks in the US and 28 other countries
  • Integration with various mobile banking apps
  • In-store and in-app online payments
  • Accepted in more than a million stores accepting NFC
  • Use and save mobile tickets, transit cards, and boarding passes
  • Multiple layers of security preventing fraud
  • Request for cash in the app or send money
  • Transfer money to bank account instantly

Google Pay is a convenient way for customers to make payments in a range of environments for free, with absolutely no fees. You can easily set up and use this service, making it an appealing choice for customers that want a digital payment solution fast.

Key Features of Google Pay for Merchants

google pay for business

For merchants, Google Pay also has a lot of significant benefits and features to explore. You can easily integrate with the Google Pay API, so you can set the service up to work within your online store and other selling channels. For Companies, it’s easy to set up and use the Google Pay Account with the bank you’re already using to accept consumer payments.

With Google pay for Merchants, you get:

  • A custom business channel: It’s easier for customers to find your business using the Google Pay app.
  • Reduced costs: You can reach more consumers through the Pay app without having to increase expenses
  • Connect with customers: Share and create offers for customers using the business channel
  • Quick integration: Integrate with Google Pay easily and quickly. It takes minutes to get up and running.
  • Security: Google has a security platform called Google Pay Shield to protect merchants and fight against fraud and hacking.
  • Merchant support: Use the help center for support anytime or contact Google by phone or chat.
  • No extra fees: There are no extra fees required to process your transactions and access the money you make

Whether you’re running a small business or a larger enterprise, Google Pay offers the freedom and convenience that comes with a payment app that just works. You can accept payments from your customers faster and connect with customers however they choose.

How Does Google Pay Work? (For Customers)

For customers, Google Pay is a solution that quickly and easily integrates with various services that users already employ. Users can make in-app payments on mobile devices with a few taps and send ACH transfers to other people for free using Gmail. There’s also the tap and pay function for Google app enabled phones.

For customers, Google Pay is extremely easy to use. All you need to do is set up an account and link it to your favorite bank or credit according. Google Pay is supported by all of the four major banks in the USA. You can also set your account up with Visa, Discover, American Express and Mastercard.

Other banks and credit unions that support the app include Barclays, Discover, American Express, the US bank, and various others. Google Pay users can also easily add cards and bank information to the app. Thanks to the integration system, Google has partnered with several apps to make purchasing easy for consumers.

At present, Google Pay customers have the option to make payments through their account either in-app, or online. You can also make Google Pay payments in-store, and with various leading companies like Starbucks, Airbnb, Doordash, and Groupon.

Right now, Google Pay is available in 29 countries in total for in-app and contactless payments, provided that you use a compatible device and the right cards. However, it’s worth noting that not all Google Pay features are available to all countries.

How Does Google Pay Work? (For Businesses)

Google Pay is a way for merchants to accept easy mobile payments from their customers for various goods and services. Customers simply add their credit and debit cards into their Google wallet. When they use Google Pay for a purchase, the buying process is quick and simple. All your customers need to do is tap their device against a payment processing system, or use a button in an app.

Customers need to wake their device before they can make a payment in a store. For some larger purchases, they can be required to unlock the device too. Google Pay processes transactions using debit and credit cards previously added to Google Pay. Google Pay does all of the hard work, and customers don’t even need to open the app.

After their purchase is complete, customers will see a payment confirmation on your point of sale terminal, and the details of the transaction will show on their device.

To accept Google Pay online, merchants will need to set up the Google Pay API. This involves using the Google Pay for Payments API solution. You can add a button to your store that makes taking payments a breeze.

Companies using Google Pay as a method of managing transactions can also see sales figures and important information at a glance on their account page.

Notably, not all of the features available for Google Pay will be accessible in every country. Some features are restricted to certain areas. Fore instance, you can’t use the train and bus payment features outside of countries like the US, UK, Cana, Russia, Japan, Australia, Singapore, and the Ukraine.

Google Pay Security

google pay security

Security is one of the most important things you can consider when you’re choosing the right merchant services, or the right payment options as a consumer. Similar to other mobile wallets, Google Pay keeps things reasonably secure because it doesn’t send your credit card details anywhere. Instead, you get an encrypted code that’s delivered to the merchant.

The code goes from the merchant to the credit card issuer, who verifies that it’s correct. If you end up losing your phone, or the device gets stolen, there’s the option to erase Google Pay remotely. You can also increase your chances of protecting yourself at the checkout and elsewhere.

Setting up unique strong passwords for your account is a good start. Making sure you have a screen lock on your android devices or iPhone is another important step. You can also consider two-factor authentication.

Google will require you to enter a PIN for all near field communication (NFC) and debit or credit card payments. All transactions are encrypted with information that’s stored in remote locations.

The biggest issue with Google Pay from a security perspective is that if you lose a password for just one service with Google, it’s very easy for you to lose control on all of your accounts. You’ll need to be extra cautious about how you’re using your payment devices. Don’t share your virtual account number with anyone.

If you lose your device, make sure that you remove your payment information immediately. You can prevent Google pay send from issuing payments by using the find my device service.

Google Pay, PayPal, and Rewards

There are a few other bonuses to consider with Google Pay. First, it’s worth noting that customers can link their PayPal account to their wallet so that they can pay using that method as well as their debit or credit card. PayPal may occasionally ask the consumer to add funds their account if they’re running low, however.

Although you will have to add your card information to your Google account and choose the right checkmark for your payment information every time you spend, you don’t have to enter a huge amount of detail every time. Usually, you can complete a payment with your fingerprint or a passcode. The process is very similar to using a smartwatch for a wallet, or Samsung pay.

Whether you’re paying through debit card, credit card or PayPal, however, make sure that the retailer you’re shopping with can support Google pay for store purchases. If they can’t take this wallet option at their payment terminal, they may need to request money through a different payment option.

Fortunately for merchants, the fact that not everyone will take Google pay or details from a PayPal account for payment gives you an excellent way to differentiate your brand.

Another bonus that Google Pay uses to keep customers happy is the option to access loyalty program and gift card options. You can use G Pay with gift cards and loyalty cards on iOS and Android, provided that they’re accepted by the retailer.

At this point, in most places and around the United States, you won’t be able to use an ATM with Google Pay. You might need your actual card number and a physical card for this instead. However, the option to use android apps like Google Pay to make payments with gift cards and loyalty details is a nice touch. You can use these cards on online stores like Amazon, or in real life by accessing the card when making a purchase.

Google Pay Pros and Cons

Google has a lot of great products to offer these days, from Google Chrome, to the G-Suite. Some people will find it extremely helpful to use something like Google Pay to manage transactions. As a merchant, it also means that you can have a new way to set yourself apart from similar companies in the United States.

As long as your customers have the option to download Google Pay from the app store, they’ll have another way to interact with you. On the other hand, like many android apps and payment methods, there’s always the risk that Google Pay might not work exactly like it should.

Pros 👍

  • Good quality of customer service from Google
  • Secure payment method for Amazon, online sites, and offline stores
  • Great way for merchants to differentiate themselves
  • Instant payments make shopping much easier
  • Simple interface on Android, apple device, or iPad
  • Good alternative to Venmo, ATM cash and credit/debit cards

Cons 👎

  • Issues with app performance could make customers unhappy
  • You might struggle with making payments at times
  • Funds don’t always appear in accounts quickly
  • Not all online and offline stores can accept Google pay

Should You Use Google Pay?

As a consumer, using Google Pay is a good idea if you want an extra way to make payments when you’re online or offline, the service is easy to use and there are no complicated setup requirements. Just make sure that you do your best to keep your payment details secure.

As a merchant, providing Google Pay as an option for customers could mean that you can outshine your competition and open the door to more transactions. Clients like having a range of options for payments, and mobile transactions are becoming more popular.

The key to success as a merchant or customer is doing your research and making sure you follow the best practices available when using Google Pay. Keep your data secure, and make sure that you’re careful about where and how you use your mobile wallets. These tools can be convenient, but they’re not bulletproof in terms of security.

Rosie Greaves

Rosie Greaves is a professional content strategist who specializes in all things digital marketing, B2B, and lifestyle. In addition to e-commerce platforms, you can find her published on Reader's Digest, G2, and Judicious Inc. Check out her website Blog with Rosie for more information.