Google is streamlining payments through Chrome across devices (GOOGL)

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Google announced that consumers will be able to use payment methods that have been saved to their Google accounts in checkout forms across devices. When consumers are signed into their account, they can select a saved payment method at checkout and enter a card's CVV to complete transactions in Chrome where Google Pay is accepted.

Here's what it means: Letting consumers use saved payment information can boost conversion, and enabling the feature across devices is particularly important since consumers are diversifying how they shop.

  • Eliminating the need to enter payment information removes friction from online checkout, which can lead to more sales.Inputting billing information can require a significant number of clicks and typing, which can frustrate consumers and cause them to abandon a transaction. Many retailers enable consumers to save their billing information on their site so they only have to provide it once, but with Chrome's new feature consumers won't even have to do that, potentially leading to more first-time customers for merchants since they won't need to input their payment information during their first visit.
  • Letting consumers save cards across devices can boost conversion through all channels as consumer spending moves beyond computers. PCs are estimated to have the biggest share of US e-commerce transactions (68%) in 2019, but their share is forecast to drop to 49% by 2024, with consumers set to conduct more of their transactions on smartphones, tablets, and other devices, creating a big opportunity for payments enablers: US mobile commerce (m-commerce) volume is projected to rise from $166 billion in 2019 to $477 billion in 2024. Mobile web conversion is particularly weak, meaning creating a seamless checkout volume that's consistent across devices, as Chrome has, should be a priority.

The bigger picture: The feature's ability to drive conversion and Chrome's popularity could boost Google Pay adoption among both merchants and consumers.

Chrome is the most popular browser worldwide with a 64% share of the market in June 2019, making its checkout improvements attractive to merchants and consumers. Merchants should want to offer an easy checkout experience to consumers via a popular browser, while consumers who use Chrome regularly will likely want to take advantage of the opportunity to bypass entering their billing information.

This would lead to more merchants starting to accept Google Pay and more consumers adding payment information to their Google accounts, which can potentially serve as a gateway for wallet use a potential priority for Google, which has seen low adoption and engagement relative to peer wallets. All of this would help propel Google Pay's adoption beyond the 100 million users it had in April 2018 shortly after its rebrand from Android Pay.

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