Google Pay Now Pulls Your Travel Loyalty Program Rewards From Gmail

 - Luke Bujarski

Google has entered into the loyalty game by pulling your Gmail content directly into Google Pay. 925Google reported on it yesterday. If enabled, loyalty cards, tickets, and local offers from the likes of airlines, attractions, and Groupon end up in your Google Pay console.

Aggregating this fragmented base of actionable information will be yet another avenue for Google to keep its user audience captive. 

 Completing Actions

The company is moving in many directions as it looks to compete with the likes of Uber, Amazon, Apple, and company - and to diversify its revenue base beyond advertising. Moving down funnel into bookable content is already the baseline for Google.

Hotel bookings, air tickets, and hair appointments are now all within the scope of Google. Transactions, via Google Pay, are also core to the evolution of Google’s monetization model - both direct and indirect.

Three Payments Buckets 

Direct cash-out as in fees collected on payments through connected credit card processing (using a debit card is free). Indirectly as in owning the user’s full time and attention i.e. eyeballs for ads and data. The longer that Google can keep you on its various properties, the better.

Digital payments for e-commerce, physical payments at storefront, and peer-to-peer payments are the three buckets to pay attention to.

 Greater than sum

As we all now know, its Google’s tentacle reach across email, maps, calendar, and payments and more that makes Google greater than the sum of its various parts.

We also know that Google is, at its core, an advertising platform. Loyalty programs and local deals have been off limits. And loyalty has been one form of direct marketing strategy that has kept users coming back to branded supplier and intermediary websites.

Inbox Clutter 

Yet again, Google is able to offer a convenient service, at potential expense to consumer-facing supplier and intermediary brands.

As the economy grows increasingly digital, payments come in many forms. Loyalty points, vouchers, discounts, etc. Having all of those in one place makes sense. Email confirmations are often the de facto means of pulling up offers.