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New world. Google launches Google Pay payment system in France

Demonstration of payment via Google Pay with a smartphone and a Revolut account. (JEROME COLOMBAIN / RADIO FRANCE)

Available in France from Tuesday, December 11, 2018, Google Pay allows you to pay online purchases on sites accepting this method of payment, and also in stores, via any contactless payment terminal (NFC). In store, any payment of less than 30 euros is made without code. Beyond that, it is mandatory to authenticate by password or fingerprint. Using Google Pay requires an Android smartphone or an Android Wear watch. It is not available on iPhone.

To use Google Pay, you need to link a bank account to your Google Account. Problem: very few banks are compatible. At the launch, only Boursorama (subsidiary of Societe Generale) and “neobanks” like Revolut, N26, Boon or Lydia accept Google Pay. The American firm, however, specifies that the solution is open and can be adopted by any bank.
However, traditional banks are reluctant to bond with GAFA and prefer to focus on their own solutions like Paylib or Lyf Pay.

What is the point of using a dematerialized payment system on a smartphone? In store, this makes transactions faster and easier than with cash. It also pays when you do not have your credit card on you. For online purchases, it is faster to click on a Google or Apple button than to enter its credit card details (but it will sometimes enter its credentials). Google, like Apple, is also, to a certain extent, a trusted third party. The sites that offer these payment methods are, in principle, reliable.

Google Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Paylib, LyfPay, Paypal, Lydia, etc. We are witnessing a proliferation of payment solutions. Not easy to find ! This market is not yet really structured and everyone tries to impose his “wallet” (digital wallet). Currently, only 10% of smartphone owners use their mobiles to pay.

Google Pay is free for customers and merchants. Google specifies that there is no exploitation of personal data related to payment. However, merchants have the option of sending geolocated promotional notifications to customers. Note that digital wallets are not just for paying. They can also store loyalty cards, boarding passes or movie tickets. On the other hand, while Google Pay can take the metro in London or Moscow, this is not the case in France where the integration of public transport in Apple or Google smartphones are very late.

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