Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOG) is adding some new levels of versatility to Google Pay.
Riders can now purchase transit passes for the Las Vegas monorail with Google Pay, the Android Police reported. The monorail only connects the casinos on the strip, but Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL) plans to roll the feature out in other cities. It will be popular if integrated with large transit systems in cities like New York and Chicago.
It is also possible to download boarding passes for Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) flights through Google Pay, Android Police reported. That means Google Pay users might be able to buy tickets for Southwest Flights and not have to print out paper tickets. Instead, the “ticket” will be an image on their phone, perhaps a quick read (QR) code that a machine will scan at the airport.
A similar feature might soon allow individuals to purchase transit tickets and passes without the need for physical tickets and passes. That might be what Alphabet is testing on the Las Vegas Monorail.
Google Pay, the former Android Pay is certainly popular, the payment solution hit 100 million downloads at Google Play in April, the Android Police reported. That does not count all the devices, Google Pay has been preloaded on, or Alphabet’s other payment app, Google Tez which is only available in India.
It looks as if Alphabet is winning the payment wars. One wonders if the Apple zombies in the tech media will notice or care.
Microsoft Pay Added to Outlook
Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is still trying to push its’ Microsoft Pay. Microsoft Pay has been added to Outlook, the popular windows email solution, TechCrunch reported. That means Microsoft might be planning its own Person-to-Person (P2P) app similar to PayPal’s Venmo.
More importantly, Microsoft Pay is now integrated with a number of payment processors including; PayPal Holdings (NASDAQ: PYPL) subsidiary Braintree, Stripe, Zuora, Intuit (NASDAQ: INTU), Freshbooks, and Invoice2Go. TechCrunch did not say whether Microsoft Pay will work with PayPal, which is the most successful American payment tool.
A smart move for Microsoft would be to add Venmo and PayPal to both Outlook and Microsoft Pay. Stripe users can now use Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Alipay to pay through Microsoft Pay, TechCrunch claimed.
My prediction is lesser solutions like Microsoft Pay and Stripe will eventually be rolled into a larger payment solution. Eventually, there may just be one payment app; which will probably be managed by the Federal Reserve, or an international agency of some sort.
The payment wars will only end when central banks like the U.S. Federal Reserve, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC); the Bank of Canada, the Reserve Bank of India, the European Central Bank, and the Bank of England step in and take control of the payment system. That will be a repeat of what happened with paper money, which was originally printed by private banks but eventually taken over by Central Banks.
The Reserve Bank of India is already cooperating with Alphabet on Google Tez. Tez is part of the United Payments Interface (NASDAQ:UPI), a project of a Reserve Bank subsidiary called the National Payments Corporation of India. Expect to solutions like UPI appear in other nations, and possibly on a global basis.
Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.