Google extends its Pay offer
Google Pay has been improved, with new support for both mobile ticketing and peer-to-peer payments.
We've always rather liked GPay; it still seems behind Apple Pay in terms of general adoption, but the fact that it works with any contactless terminal makes it much easier to use. The tradeoff is that Apple Pay has greater functionality - something which the new improvements see to rectify.
Through the GPay app, you can send money to anyone through an app update in the next few weeks. This used to be available in Google Pay Send, but the big G now wants to consolidate its payment functions into GPay. Google Pay Send will still be available, and closed at some point in the future. This approach suggests that Google hasn't learned from its recent haphazard (read: nightmarish) strategy in music, where Google Play Music is to be replaced by YouTube Music, although GPM will still be available, with slightly different functionality.
The P2P payment service has a rather neat use-case. To split a bill, for example, simply request payment from all of the others and then pay the amount yourself. This is a nice way of working through a tricky situation, but as most bars and restaurants now offer just to split the bill anyway, you might spend more time in the app than dividing the total by the amount of people and asking the waiter if payment can be made that way.
The new Passes tab includes loyalty and gift cards. GPay's loyalty card function has been brilliant but flawed: it's a great idea, and removes the need for loyalty cards in purses and wallets, with one problem: it doesn't work. Try asking a cashier at any well-known retailer to scan your GPay QR code - and self-service checkouts don't even recognise it. There's much further to go in this area, as no-one really does it well.