Google gets fully into the payment ecosystem of Argentina: from this week its Wallet function is available for download on the different cell phones in the country, which will allow users of the technological giant to make payments, face-to-face or virtual, with debit and credit cards by contact directly from the cell phone.
With this launch, the Google wallet already has a presence in more than 70 countries around the world. The landing in Argentina was expected by users who once traveled abroad and saw how payments worked directly from the cell phone. And it is also the result of extensive work between big-tech and players in the local financial system: from credit cards, banks and fintech, to payment processors.
Víctor Valle, General Director of Google Argentina, explained at an event for the press that the new app is "much more than a virtual wallet" as they are known today and that it also allows you to store boarding tickets from at least 30 airlines around the world. "The definition that is used in the United States, of wallet, applies a little better, because it refers to a wallet, to a toolbox," he said.
In a second instance, the Google wallet will be able to add other types of plastics: from corporate benefit cards or points in the supermarket, to those of public transport, such as SUBE.
Google is thus leveraged in a scenario of strong growth of digital wallets in the country to offer a payment solution that they consider to be "safer, more comfortable and without costs", neither for businesses nor for users. According to a survey that the same technology sent to do among Argentines, 64% said that virtual wallets are their preferred means of payment.
Based on NFC (Near field Communication) technology, the application will allow "contactless" payments from the cell phone in both physical stores and online stores. Unlike the solutions that are already available in the country, such as Mercado Pago or Ualá, the Google wallet does not manage funds, but simply "loads" the data of the cards issued by banks and fintech on the cell phone.
"This launch puts us on the map, since it is a widely used payment option in 70 other countries," said Google's number one in Argentina. Vale stressed that precisely because of the global presence of this wallet, it will facilitate tourism to and from Argentina.
The app is now available for Visa and Mastercard. As to load them on a cell phone you need to make a "tokenization" of each plastic, Google sources stressed that it is the issuers of these cards who have to make that conversion. At this moment banks such as BBVA Francés, Brubank, Galicia, Macro and Openbank already have this option available for their customers. Also the cards issued by the fintech Pomelo.
Armando Betancourt, Google Pay Alliances Leader for Latin America, explained that tokenization is nothing more than the encryption of each plastic on the cell phone, in a process that guarantees the security of payments, both for users and for merchants. To be able to pay in stores, Google allied with Mercado Pago, Pay-way and Fiserv. As they explained, this functionality is already available in the payment terminals of these brands that already operate with contactless technology.
To make contactless payments at merchants where these transactions are accepted and to make secure purchases on websites and apps, Google Wallet uses Google Pay. This way, users of Android devices with NFC technology and Wear OS access a fast, simple and secure way to pay with their phone.
In addition, Google Pay does not charge fees to users, merchants or issuers for each transaction and is integrated into the Google account, therefore, it can be used when accessing the account and works on all browsers, platforms and devices.