What you need to know
- Google Pay in the U.S now works better with local stores and transit systems.
- The app can now highlight deals from Target and Safeway.
- Google is also adding Chicago and the Bay Area to the list of supported transit systems.
First, the app now offers integration with Safeway and Target. It will surface deals from either store when a user searches for Safeway or Target in the app. Alternatively, enabling location access and passing by these stores should pop up a notification that'll show off weekly deals.
Google's Josh Woodward explained in a blog post:
Google is also adding support for transit passes in Chicago and the Bay Area. Now users will be able to travel using just their phones via contactless readers or by showing the tickets visually to staff. You'll be able to access this with a new "Ride transit" shortcut on the homepage.
Finally, Google Pay is also going to act a lot more like a smart bank. Google is adding a new "Insights" tab to the app that'll let users see how much they spend and on what. For example, if you search "food," you'll see how much you've spent on food through Google Pay. Counting those calories? Search burgers or pizza, or even Burger King and Pizza Hut. Expense categorization is a useful tool for regular banking apps, and it's good to see Google roll it out here.
You'll need to be on the new Google Pay app to see any of these features. The new version of the app is only available in a select few countries, but Google will likely bring it to other countries soon.
The new app is a pain. Why is it trying to add social elements and all this other stuff? The old app simply let me launch and pay. A simple swipe to change payment method is the only thing I ever needed to do. Now there is all this other information in the way.
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