Google working on “Plaso” payment system to compete with Apple Pay, says report

Google is reportedly working on a payment system, called “Plaso”, that will directly compete with Apple Pay in the financial technology market.

The Information published an article that said Google is currently testing the “Plaso” service, which will apparently allow people with Android phones to make payments at retailers by just giving their initials to people at the cash register.

Essentially this means that customers could purchase something beforehand by handing out their initials and then go and pick it up at the location later. All the cashier would have to do is check the Plaso interface on a smartphone and find the order to confirm the purchase.

Google sign

According to the source that The Information cited, customers will only need a smartphone to carry out purchases.

Google taking on Apple Pay

Apple Pay is not mainstream yet, but it is the leader in the mobile-payments market. According to research firm eMarketer, last year a total of around $3.5 billion in mobile transactions were made, a big increase from $1.6 billion in 2013.

Google partnering up with Square on the “Plaso” project

The Information report says that Google could be partnering up with Square on the project.

The system would be directly up against Apple Pay, which already has a huge of advantage in that Apple already has relationships with various card companies and banks – a major distribution advantage and indication of support among the financial-services community.


According to an article by Katie Benner on BloombergView:

“It will be hard for Google to chip away at that advantage. While Square does process payments for the card companies, they’ve not shown the same enthusiasm for the company. This may be because the startup focuses on small business rather than big merchants that do huge volume.”

In the article Benner pointed out that what a Google-Square project would do is successfully “fuel speculation that Google could someday buy Square.”

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