Most Americans use debit or credit cards to purchase stuff online, but in other countries, such payment methods might not be readily accessible. Google understands this, which is why it's rolling out a new payment option that lets people pay for Play Store apps using cash.
This comes after Google added carrier billing to the Play Store several years ago to make paid apps and in-app purchases more accessible for people who don't have easy access to cards.
Google's new payment method is called "pending transactions," which, as Play Store engineering director Aurash Mahbod describes, is a "new class of delayed form of payment — like cash, bank transfer, and direct debit."
"We know that emerging markets are a key area of growth for you all, which is why we're excited to announce 'pending transactions," Mahbod said at Google's I/O Developer conference.
Pending transactions are live now in just two countries — Mexico and Japan, as TechCrunch reports. There, Android users can buy paid apps and just pay them later using cash at local convenience stores. Right now, paying for in-app transactions via this method isn't possible yet, but Google says it'll add that feature down the line. In addition, the company will also most likely roll out pending transactions to other developing nations moving forward.
How Does It Work?
Instead of attaching a credit card to one's Play Store account, the user can just opt to receive a payment code that they can show to the cashier once they're ready to pay. Within 10 minutes after completing the transaction, the user will receive their purchase along with an email with their proof of their payment. However, this might take up to 48 hours in case something goes wrong.
The pros are obvious, but there are also downsides to this form of payment, the biggest of which is that users won't get the cash back if they decide to ask for a refund; they'll get Play Store credit instead.
By launching pending transactions in developing markets, Google hopes to turn free users into paying ones. In such countries, cash-based transactions are still largely preferred, especially by those who don't have credit cards or postpaid plans.
It's not clear if pending transactions will make it stateside as well, but make sure to check back with Tech Times as we learn more. Thoughts on this new payment method? Sound off in the comments section below!