“Hey Google, send me money!” Starting today, Google Assistant will get Google Pay integration, which will let you use Google’s voice assistant to send and receive money from your contacts. It will start only on Android and iOS smartphones, but will also be added to smart home speakers sometime in the next several months.
Those who already have Google Pay accounts will be ready to start immediately, and those who don’t will be guided through the setup process the first time they ask the virtual assistant to send money. Google says that the money will be exchanged “almost instantaneously,” though if your friends don’t have Google Pay accounts, they’ll also need to set those up to cash out. They’ll get an email, text or other notification telling them to set up an account (or, if they have one, that funds are ready or requested).
Google says the task can be completed with commands like “Hey Google, request $20 from Sam for the show tonight” or “Hey Google, send Jane $15 for lunch today.”
The biggest question—security—seems to be taken care of: Google Assistant won’t send funds with only your voice. You’ll need to confirm your decision to send money with your device password or fingerprint. It’s unclear how this will work with voice-activated speakers like Google Home, though it’s possible you’ll need a second device, like your smartphone, to authorize it.
This all follows Google combining Android Pay and Google Wallet into Google Pay, and it’s integration into Google Assistant is one more skill it has in comparison to Amazon’s Alexa. Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant, has Apple Pay integration already on iPhones. Google is also competing with apps like Venmo for exchanging funds, as well as Zelle, which is used by many big banks.