Google Tez, Alphabet’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) QR Code driven mobile wallet for India has been rebranded Google Pay.
Google Pay is also the name of the near field communications (NFC) wallet that Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL) has been promoting in Europe and North America. Google Tez was apparently a separate product until August 28, 2018; when Alphabet combined it with Google Pay, The Android Police reported. Alphabet created Google Pay by folding Google Wallet into Android Pay.
It is not clear if Tez’s QR code functions will become available on Google Pay. Quick Read (QR) code payment apps like Tez, Alipay, Walmart Pay, WeChat Pay, and Chase Pay establish a connection with a payment system by “reading” a code with a phone’s camera.
Will Google Pay add QR Code?
NFC solutions like Google Pay and Apple Pay establish a connection by sending a wireless signal to a cash register or an ATM. Adding QR Code to Google Pay makes sense; because Walmart (NYSE: WMT) America’s largest retailer accepts QR Code wallets, but not NFC apps.
Alphabet is planning to unify its payment services globally, Android Police reported. That might mean Google Pay’s NFC will become available in India and Tez’s QR code might roll out in North America. Adding QR code will give Alphabet a leg up in the payment wars.
Theoretically, QR is more secure than NFC because there is no wireless signal bad guys can intercept. Instead, QR codes apps establish a connection through the retailer’s network.
Theoretically, integrating QR Code solutions with blockchain and cryptocurrency offers a greater level of security. Only the blockchain scalability problem is preventing QR Code integration with the blockchain.
QR Code is More Popular than NFC Payment
QR code apps; like Ant Financial’s Alipay and Tencent Holdings’ WeChat Pay, have been incredibly successful in China.
WeChat Pay had 600 million users and Alipay had 400 million users worldwide in August 2017, Statista calculated. Android Pay (now Google Pay) had just 24 million users and Apple Pay had 33 million users in August 2017.
The only US payment app with over 100 million users is PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) which had 210 million users in August 2017. PayPal works through Google Pay. I could get cash and pay for merchandise with my PayPal account through Google Pay at my local hardware store and supermarket. PayPal does not offer a QR Code option.
Why Apple Pay and PayPal will Adopt QR Code
The Tez rebranding is likely to convince Walmart not to accept NFC payments. Instead, Walmart will demand that Alphabet and Apple adopt QR Code.
Google Pay is likely to roll out QR Code in the United States. That will force Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) to add QR code to Apple Pay. A natural consequence of Google Pay QR Code is PayPal adopting QR Code. The addition of QR Code to Venmo is inevitable too.
The tech giants will have to go along because Walmart is on track to generate $500.34 billion (half a trillion dollars) in revenues in 2018, Statista forecast. Access to that revenue is probably what convinced Alphabet to add QR Code to Google Pay.
Alphabet is on track to win the payment wars unless Apple makes major changes fast. Therefore, Google Pay and Apple Pay are likely to come to Walmart in a way that the tech media will not see coming as a QR Code app.