Google has always been interested in adding new features to its services, especially to the search engine, which you can now use not only for regular searches, but also for math problems, conversions and whatnot. Gmail, just as well, comes with a good number of features that you can use to increase your productivity; and now it seems that Mountain View is working on another one.
Recode publication reports that Google is allegedly developing a new software that will supposedly allow users to pay their bills directly from their Gmail inbox. The utility is being codenamed Pony Express, and you can have a look at the gallery for a glimpse at its user interface. However, most likely, at the moment, work is still in progress, which means the final design could be different and more polished than what we’re seeing now.
With this new service, Google is looking to keep its users spending more time on Gmail and to perceive it as an even more useful tool that it already is. The more time they spend on Gmail, the more likely they are to click on an advertisement – I think this might what Google’s aiming for. Or, who knows, maybe they will deduct a small fee for every transaction. Anyway, to be able to pay bills within Gmail instead of having to go to a telecom or utility company’s website to complete a payment could be quite easy for many.
You could include me in the list, as well, since Gmail is part of my daily activity. And if I could group all my payments inside a single folder, I’d probably save a few minutes that I’d otherwise have to spend on my bank’s webpage, paying for my phone bills and so on.
To be able to use Pony Express, you will need to provide some of your personal information, such as a full social security number, a full credit card number ora telephone service account number. After the account has been set up, bills can be paid with a credit or debit card, but you should be able to also link Pony Express directly to a bank account. Even more, Gmail users should be able to forward bills onto other people if they want to split up the full balance. You can also choose to have this process automated, if you’d like to.
If Pony Express indeed becomes a real product and it manages to get many to use it, then Google would be able to build up a lot of profitable financial data. It could then use this data to create other services for personal finance or lending or maybe for more accurate advertising.