— — Apps

Google Pay update adds grocery offers, transit expansions and spending insights – TechCrunch

2 Mins read

Following November’s overhaul of Google Pay, which saw the service expanding into personal finance, the company is rolling out a new set of features to make it more a part of its users’ everyday lives. With an update, Google Pay will now include new options for grocery savings, paying for public transit, and categorizing their spending. Through partnerships with Safeway and Target, Google Pay users can now browse their store’s weekly circulars that showcase the latest deals. Safeway brings more than 500 stores to the Google Pay platform, and Target stores nationwide will offer a similar feature. Google Pay users can favorite the recommended deals for later access. And soon, Google Pay will notify you of the weekly deals when you’re near a participating store if the location is enabled.

Another update expands Google Pay’s transit features, which already today support buying and using transit tickets across more than 80 cities in the U.S. New additions arriving soon now include the major markets of Chicago and the San Francisco Bay Area. This follows Apple Pay’s recently added and much-welcomed support for the Bay Area’s Clipper card. The company is also integrating with Token Transit to expand transit support to smaller towns across the U.S. Soon, the Google Pay app will allow Android users to access transit tickets from the app’s home screen through a “Ride Transit” shortcut. They can then purchase, add or top up the balance on transit cards. Once purchased, you can hold up your transit card to a reader — or show a visual ticket if there’s no reader.

Google Pay

The final feature is designed for those using Google Pay to manage their finances. With last years revamp, Google partnered with 11 banks to launch a new bank account called Plex. A competitor to the growing number of mobile-only digital banks, Google’s app serves as the front-end to the charges hosted by partner banks, like Citi and Stanford Federal Credit Union. As a part of that experience, Google Pay users will now gain better access to their spending behavior, balances, bills, and more via an “Insights” tab. Here, you’ll be able to see what youyour credit andre due, get alerts about more significant transactions, and track spending by either category or business. As Google is now automatically categorizing transactions, that means you’ll be able to search for general terms (like “food”) as well as by specific business names (like “Burger King”), Google explains.

When the redesigned app launched, users were asked to opt into personalization features, which could help show users better, more relevant deals. While Google says it’s not providing your data directly to these third-party brands and retailers, the app offers a conduit for those businesses to reach potential customers when the tracking industry is in upheaval over Apple’s privacy changes. Google’s ability to help brands get consumers through Google Pay could be a valuable service to grow its user base and encourage more to opt into the personalization features. To make that happen, you can expect Google Pay to roll out more useful or “must-have” elements in the coming weeks.

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