While the Google Play Store might be the biggest in terms of downloads, it suffers due to the lack of monetization when compared to Apple’s App Store. Google has announced at I/O 2019 that users will soon be able to make Google Play Store purchases with cash — yes, the physical stuff.
The company announced this new “Pending Transactions” feature to enable those without a credit card to make purchases on the Google Play Store (via TechCrunch). This is arguably a move to enable those in emerging markets the ability to spend money on the Play Store without needing access to a non-physical payment method.
We’ve already seen Google gravitate to other payment options in a bid to open access to those without easy access to its originally preset payment methods. Carrier billing, eWallets, and UPI in India have helped a number of global markets, but Pending Transactions could be another beneficial feature for users all over the globe.
“We know that emerging markets are a key area of growth for you all, which is why we’re excited to announce ‘pending transactions,’” said Aurash Mahbod, the Director of Engineering responsible for the Play Store and Games on Google Play, discussing the new payment option at the Google I/O Developer conference.
He went on to explain: “This is a new class of delayed form of payment – like cash, bank transfer and direct debit.”
It looks like it works in a pretty simple manner. When purchasing an application, for instance, you opt to pay using a local store. Once the purchase is confirmed you are sent a payment code, which is handed over to the in-store cashier and allowing you to pay with cash. Your purchase then takes around 10 minutes to fully complete, at which point you get an email confirmation and receipt.
The only caveat to this new payment option is that if you wish to get a refund on a duff app, you won’t get cash in return. Instead, you will get Google Play Store credit applied to your account.
Pending Transactions are set to arrive within the new Google Play Billing Library (version 2.0). While it’s great for everyone it will be of most interest to those in emerging markets and hopefully will help increase the volume of paid transactions within these regions. You would expect that being able to pay with cash on the Google Play Store will be another way to improve overall revenue.
More from I/O 2019:
- Google I/O 2019 Roundup: Android Q, Pixel 3a, Nest Hub Max, and more
- Google quietly acknowledges Fuchsia during I/O 2019
- Google Assistant ‘apps’ coming to Smart Displays, starting with games