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'Pony Express' rumored to let users pay bills using Gmail, opens doors to other financial services

By Shawn Knight
Mar 25, 2015
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  1. google gmail e-mail bills pony express bill payment online bills paperless billing messenger app bill pay

    Google is said to be working on a new project partially designed to combat Facebook’s recent addition of payments to its Messenger app. Codenamed “Pony Express,” the service will initially cater to monthly bill payments and be integrated into Gmail according to a document viewed by Re/code.

    On the surface, Pony Express will let users pay bills within Gmail instead of having to navigate to a provider’s website. But as the publication notes, such a service could be just the tip of the iceberg in terms of Google’s overall financial strategy.

    Access to a wealth of financial-related data could open the doors for the search giant to enter any number of other untapped markets. Credit and debit card bills and payment history, for example, may allow Google to offer personal finance products or even personal loans. What’s more, such data could be used for targeted ad purposes although both instances will likely raise all kinds of privacy concerns.

    google gmail e-mail bills pony express bill payment online bills paperless billing messenger app bill pay

    The lengthy document seen by the site outlines how the service would be set up, with users providing personal information including Social Security number and credit card numbers to a third-party company to verify identity. Google appears to be reaching out to third-party companies that handle print billing on the endeavor and perhaps even directly with service providers.

    Once verified, a user can start receiving their bills through Gmail or Google’s latest app, Inbox. Online billing isn’t exactly a new concept but Google could advertise its ability to aggregate all of your bills in one convenient folder.

    Being able to pay bills on the spot directly from an e-mail could afford a level of convenience that many would probably willingly accept. Additionally, a feature to split bills up among roommates and automate the process would no doubt lure in even more users.

    The document claims Google is planning to launch the service in the fourth quarter.

    Images via Re/code, Bidness Etc

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,631   +432

    I'm sorry, but this...

    "...Pony Express will let users pay bills within Gmail instead of having to navigate to a provider’s website."

    and this...

    "...with users providing personal information including Social Security number and credit card numbers to a third-party company to verify identity."

    made me lol.
     
  3. seefizzle

    seefizzle TS Addict Posts: 278   +142

    Like it or not the way we pay for things is definitely changing. I say bring on the new payment technologies. The sooner the better.
     
  4. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,550   +2,894

    But we will always feel as if we are cutting off arms and legs.
     

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