Google has today released a beta version of its primary app and it points at major updates coming to the Google Assistant. The search giant is now looking to increase the usability of its voice assistant with the integration of various payment services. It is one of the capabilities which will further enhance the assistant to compete against the likes of Alexa, and possibly Bixby!?
A teardown of the latest beta update, numbered 6.11.13, for the Google app by XDA developers points towards upcoming support for mobile payments. The app consists of strings of code heavily hinting towards the addition of payments support for Google Assistant, especially for Pixel device owners. It is only rolling out right now to beta users but these strings are said to have existed from a few version before this one.
While the feature may have been added to the Google app, it isn’t currently available for active use. The strings of code clearly mention that ‘Payments isn’t currently available on the Google Assistant’. It further mentions that ‘you’ll be able to pay for things’ using the said platform on the Google App but not as of now. There are also sections of the code which hint towards the same coming to Assistant on Google Home, which shouldn’t come as news to all.
Using the same, you’ll be able to handle credit/debit cards like most payment services do. And there is also the mention of a Google support page if any help during the set up is required. The support for servicing mobile payments through the Google Assistant will also bring online shopping into the picture. You’ll just need to provide the shipping address and billing details and the rest will be handled by your assistant.
Also, there is also a mention of ‘Shared Devices,’ which will also allow you to make payments online using the Google Assistant. There is not any mention of what exactly this feature will do. But it is expected to allow you to choose a set of trusted devices — smartphones or Google Home — that can access payment options to complete transactions. This will also enable you to keep a check on payments and avoid those accidental purchases by kids.
Virtual assistants are sure to become a ubiquitous part and parcel of our lifestyle. And Google plans to expedite its efforts for the growth of Google Assistant into a robust mediator of your day-to-day activities. The company has already shown off the capabilities it has lined up for the platform, in the form of Actions on Google. This will make other third-party integrations available for the assistant in the coming weeks.