The pros and cons of Google Pay

For most business owners, making the decision to add a new payment method isn’t easy. A fair evaluation of a payment provider involves doing a lot of research and looking at both its benefits and drawbacks to determine whether it’s right for your business.

In this article, we consider the pros and cons of Google Pay — a popular digital wallet — so you can assess the value of this payment method for both you and your customers.

The pros and cons of Google Pay

Like other digital wallets, Google Pay was designed to make the checkout process fast and easy. The app makes it possible for customers to use their smartphones to pay for goods and services.

Here’s some balanced information you need to know about Google Pay before you decide to accept it as a payment option.

Pro: Wide compatibility

One of the greatest benefits of Google Pay is that it’s widely compatible with both Android and iOS devices, so most customers who have those types of smartphones have access to Google Pay. With Google Pay, users can also make payments online through a website as well as through an app, so it provides a lot of flexibility to both businesses and customers.

Pro Tip

Integrate your payment forms with Apple Pay and Google Pay for fast, secure payment collections.

Con: NFC technology limitation

When it comes to in-person payments, Google Pay requires near field communication (NFC) technology to work. If your business doesn’t have an NFC terminal, then your customers won’t be able to make payments using Google Pay in person. Keep in mind that the price of NFC terminals can start around $50 and go up to hundreds of dollars, depending on quality and features.

Pro: Layers of security

Both businesses and customers alike care about security when it comes to online payments, and Google Pay takes security seriously. Google Pay uses tokenization, which means that a customer’s debit or credit card information isn’t shared with a business — only an assigned token number is. This prevents data theft as well as fraudulent transactions.

Each transaction also has a unique code, making it easy to track and manage.

Con: Limited availability in certain countries

Depending on where your business is located in the world, you may not be able to accept Google Pay as a payment method. While it does work in dozens of countries, it’s still not as widely accepted as some other payment methods, such as PayPal. This can be a downside if your business is in a country that doesn’t allow Google Pay or where people and businesses don’t use it widely.

Pro: Additional uses

Customers can use Google Pay to make purchases, but they can also use it for other things, such as holding digital boarding passes or digital tickets. If your business runs events, this is a major bonus because you can make it easier for customers to keep track of event passes without having to fumble with paper tickets.

Con: Limited list of participating banks    

Google Pay is only supported by a limited number of banks, so if your bank doesn’t use Google Pay, then you can’t accept it as a payment method. Similarly, if your customers’ banks don’t support Google Pay, they can’t use it to make payments at your store. This is a downside for both consumers and businesses.

Pro: Strong recordkeeping

From a business perspective, this is a major bonus: Google Pay tracks incoming and outgoing payments as well as customer invoices, which makes bookkeeping easier and less stressful. Each transaction made in your account is archived and available for review anytime.

Con: Slow bank account transfers

It can take up to three to five business days for a Google Pay transaction to show up in your bank account depending on the payment method the sender uses (e.g. a bank account vs a debit card). During this time, the transaction shows up as pending until it’s complete. While this isn’t only Google Pay’s fault (the banks are also responsible for this delay), it can still be frustrating for business owners who need access to the funds.

The pros and cons of Google Pay listed here cover the essentials of implementing this payment method. But before you make a decision, you may want to read some user reviews from both buyers and merchants. With those insights, you’ll have a more complete picture of whether Google Pay is right for you and whether it’s likely to benefit your business.

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