Earlier in May 2017, Google confirmed that Android Pay, its payments and e-commerce platform was coming to Canada, “in the coming months”.
This Monday, Google held a press-conference in Moscow where it announced the official launch of in Russia, 4PDA.ru reported. That’s in addition to a bunch of other countries, so the odds of seeing in Canada soon are increasing.
At first glance, this is mainly a Point-of-Sale move, to offer the customers just another method to pay for their purchases in-store: the way the method works at the user’s end is similar to Samsung Pay, or Android Pay in iPhone 6 smartphones – you need to install the app, register your credit card in it, and you can pay at a NFC-compatible terminal. Given, the much bigger digital/online footprint that Google has as a company, it could potentially make it easier getting the payments out of Russia and other countries, and thus lower the e-commerce operating costs (merchant system, payment gateway, international transfer fees).
As you would expect from Google and went big and reportedly support the cards issued by 15 major banks in Russia as today, with more being added. Virtually all of the most popular banks that people use for everyday payments (Sberbank, Alfa, VTB24, Russian Standard etc) are supported, as is Yandex Money, one of the country’s electronic payment systems that is largely used for online purchases.
Interestingly, some of the Russian banks listed might still be under the US sanctions introduced in 2014, so the Google Pay in Russia might not always work for international payments – and I don’t know how Google being a U.S. company was able to pull those deals. Last I remember, VTB and VEB were sanctioned, as well as, I think Sberbank, the largest and most commonly used bank in Russia.
The purpose of marrying Yandex to Android Pay wasn’t too clear to me, but perhaps it’s to facilitate paying for international purchases (?) At any rate, this all seems a move in the right direction, from international e-commerce perspective.
P.S. In other news, also today, Samsung Pay is now available in Taiwan.