PayPal and Google have recently announced the consolidation of their partnership which will bring to a virtually total integration of PayPal within Google Pay by the end of the year. Initially effective only in the United States, a global extension is expected to follow the testing phase. Users will have the possibility of adding their PayPal data to their Google Pay account – though this has been possible since 2014 – and will be able to pay invoices and bills with PayPal without having to login each time and without exiting Google services. The integration will extend to a set of Big G apps, such as Gmail, YouTube, Google Store and any other service using Google Pay, including peer-to-peer transfers.
It is interesting to try to understand what benefits are in store for the two giants with this integration. Obviously, for PayPal the directness and ease of use will likely lead to a significant increase of transactions. Additionally, the possibility of using the PayPal account also for payments through Google Pay further paves the way towards the word of physical shops, clearly PayPal’s goal. The company, in fact, recently came to a partnership agreement for NFC payments with Samsung Pay and acquired iZettle, thus providing Mobile POS and a payment management platform to nearly half a million small retailers, for a record total of 2.2 billion dollars. For Google, instead, this integration means that users no longer have to leave its sites or apps to complete a transaction with the risk that the payment is abandoned and the customer chooses not to return to the platform. This is an issue on which Amazon is also working hard: all phases, including payment, are in fact designed to maximize transaction simplification. The aim is immediacy, often just one -click, especially excluding intermediate passages between sites and apps.
We’ve probably entered in a new stage of this market: for players such as PayPal the game is no longer about trying to convince people to make payments online, but in gaining the loyalty of a share of users that already do. The first phase has inevitably led to the multiplication of payment options that now, however must find the right way to get users’ attention and actively retain it over time, ensuring their solution becomes the default solution for consumers. On the other hand, players such as Google must be able to keep people on their platform rather than going elsewhere and risking unconcluded purchases or users landing on a competitor’s service.
To reach these objectives, “simplicity” and “immediacy” need to become the motto on which all these services are based. An integration of this kind could be going just in this direction, reducing the steps required by users to complete a purchase.
The need for brief and non-complex flows also emerged from a user analysis of 8 Italian Mobile Wallets performed by the Mobile Payment & Commerce Observatory in collaboration with App Quality. Within the guidelines drafted as a result of the analysis, the first 4 specifically address the “Simplicity and immediacy” category: much appreciated are all tools that cut, sometimes entirely eliminate, the number of clicks required to complete a payment (automatic app wake-up, widgets and biometrics), as well as simple, intuitive menus enabling to go to the desired function in just a few simple steps.
Specifically, the guidelines address Mobile Wallet solutions, but many of the indications emerged are applicable to the majority of services and digital platforms. And big market players, that are investing a large part of their resources on user experience related matters, have understood that it is such details that can make the difference and win the challenge. If necessary, also through strategic partnerships.