New Google Payment API Aims to Streamline Mobile Payment Process

Google has released an expanded mobile payment suite that includes a new payment API along with tweaks to the in-app advertising platform and new app promotion options.

Mobile banking

Google has made it easier for developers and merchants to enable Android app users to pay for purchases with their mobile devices.

Effective immediately, developers can use the new Google Payment API to enable Android app users to pay for purchases with credit and debit cards saved to their Google Account.

Users, according to Google senior vice president Sridhar Ramaswamy, will be able to choose from any card saved via the Payment API or in the Chrome browser, including cards that were used for transactions on Play Store or to pay for other online purchases.  "And they'll be able to use these saved payment options in third-party apps and mobile sites, as well as on Google Assistant when they are on-the-go," Ramaswamy said in a blog.

The Payment API is designed to give developers an opportunity to enable faster checkout for mobile purchases and to reduce the number of instances where a user might abandon a purchase because of the hassle involved in completing a mobile transaction.

While mobile devices offer a convenient way to buy goods online, it can also be a frustrating experience for users, according to Google.

Despite an overall increase in mobile traffic, the instances where users actually complete a transaction with their mobile devices still accounts for only one-third of all online purchases.

Statistics have shown that users tend to abandon a mobile shopping cart twice as frequently as they abandon a desktop transaction because of the highly manual, tedious and often slow nature of mobile checkouts.

The Google Payment API will address that shortcoming, Ramsawamy said. "Users can save time and headaches by using credit and debit cards they've already saved to their Google Account whenever they see the option to pay with Google on supported apps or sites."

In addition to the Payment API, Google has also introduced a completely redesigned version of its AdMob in-app advertising platform for mobile applications.  Google touts AdMob as offering a way for mobile app developers another way to earn revenues by serving up in-app advertisements to users of their applications.

The new AdMob version supports features that make it easier for application developers to monitor how users are interacting with their software, including time spent on the app and in-app purchases, so as to optimize delivery of in-app advertisements. According to Ramaswamy, AdMob has so far paid out in excess of $3.5 billion in ad revenues to developers of some 1 million apps across the Android and iOS ecosystem.

Google has also introduced new options for ad placements on Google Play Store's home and app listing pages. Developers who have signed up for Google's Universal App Campaigns (UAC) can use the new placements to promote their products in an even more highly targeted fashion than before, according to Ramaswamy. 

UAC is a service that mobile app developers can use to promote their products across multiple Google properties including Google Play, YouTube, Gmail and Search. The company has described UAC as using machine learning techniques to make app promotion highly effective for developers.

The latest tweaks to UAC are designed to give mobile app developers a way to engage with users at precisely the moment they are searching or browsing for apps on Play Store, thereby spurring downloads, Ramaswamy said.

Jaikumar Vijayan

Jaikumar Vijayan

Vijayan is an award-winning independent journalist and tech content creation specialist covering data security and privacy, business intelligence, big data and data analytics.