Google’s Payments division is seeking synergies across many of Google’s business units – hence the recent insertion of several AdWords executives into the Payments leadership.
Speaking at Money2020 in Las Vegas, Google Payment VP Ariel Bardin bluntly acknowledged that people don’t think Google has a real role in the payments world, and didn’t mind that Google Wallet was struggling to take off. But Google can help merchants in a number of ways, while also helping itself.
Merchants can get strong signals into consumer behavior by tracking payments. Tracking payments also helps tie together the various advertising and promotion pieces, said Bardin.
In a recent Google survey of 1,500 smart phone users, for instance, 45 percent said they wanted loyalty products from merchants on their mobile device, but just 4 percent actually have them. “This is an area we can help,” said Bardin.
Indeed, there are natural synergies with payments “Post,” “Pre” and “During” research into transactions.
In the “Pre” phase, Google has an interest in driving queries to specific shopping categories. Bardin noted that Google has indexed over one billion products (and is selling Product listing Ads). It can achieve a 500 percent boost in queries to specific categories.
It can also send out geofenced coupons via its partnership with ValPak. “There are lots of coupons you can see,” said Bardin. There are also new mobile vertical applications, such as The Fancy, an Android app that is highly personalized based on user data, including credit card information.
In the “During” phase, the interest is in boosting Google Maps, Google Offers and Google Wallet. A lot of it hinges on getting more customer loyalty.
“Post” transaction, Google is developing a set of data and analysis for participating merchants, which currently include: Expedia, uber, Priceline, Toys R Us, Hilton and others. Loyalty efforts, including points, play a big role in that as well.