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  1. eBay adds Google Pay to its managed payments program eBay says the addition of Google Pay represents a significant step in giving its customers more flexibility in how they pay. eBay announced on Thursday that it's adding Google Pay to its suite of payment options as part of its move to intermediate end-to-end payments on its marketplace. With the integration, Google Pay users will be able to complete purchases on eBay via the app, mobile web and on desktop from sellers participating in eBay's managed payments program, while shoppers using the Google Pay digital wallet will be able to complete purchases on desktop. The move to accept Google Pay goes along with eBay's new managed payments approach to payments after it decided to cut ties with long-standing partner and former subsidiary PayPal. Dutch fintech company Adyen is set to become eBay's primary payments processor after the current PayPal deal expires in mid-2020, as eBay looks to bring more transactions to its in-house Marketplace platform. Also: eBay considers another corporate split eBay says the addition of Google Pay represents a significant step in giving its customers more flexibility in how they pay. The e-commerce player intends to continue scaling the managed payments program to include more payment options and process volume and expects to intermediate a majority of payments on its marketplace platform in 2021. In terms of its relationship with PayPal, eBay noted that it's working to have PayPal on intermediated payments some time soon. "With these new payment options and those we're looking to add in the future, we're increasing customer choice and making the buying experience easier and faster," said Alyssa Cutright, eBay's VP of global payments, billing and risk. "Our managed payments experience gives eBay the opportunity to create a fully modern marketplace, meeting the demand for new ways to pay and allowing sellers to reach previously inaccessible buyers. Simply put, more things are possible at eBay because we're managing payments." Source
  2. Another antitrust headache for Alphabet. What you need to know Google is being investigated bu the Competition Commission of India over antitrust allegations. The company is being accused of unfairly privileging its Google Pay payment system in the Play Store over competitors. Google rejects this characterization, arguing that it neither has a monopoly on phones nor does is the Play Store the exclusive distribution area for smartphone apps in India. The CCI rejects Google's claims regarding being a monopoly and has opened an investigation into whether Google does favor its Google Pay app over competitors to the detriment of consumers. An anonymous complaint has been lodged with the Competiton Commission of India(via Tech Crunch), accusing Google of antitrust violations in its handling of Android, the Play Store, and Google Pay (formerly known as Tez in India). From the CCI's press release, the complaint has three main points [Google has been] unfairly privileging Google Pay by prominent placement on the Play Store, Android OS and Android-based smartphones by skewing the search results on the Play Store in favour of Google Pay; by rigging its featured app lists to include Google Pay in categories, such as "Editors' Choice Apps", "User Choice App of 2018" and "#Top Free app" demonstrating clear bias in favour of its own app; by manipulating the search advertisements algorithm on the Play Store in favour of Google Pay; and by pre-installing and prominently placing Google Pay on Android smartphones at the time of initial set-up resulting in a "status-quo bias" to the detriment of other apps facilitating payments through UPI as well as other methods of payment, such as mobile wallets, net banking, etc. b.) mandating apps to use Play Store's payment system and Google Play In-App Billing for charging their users for purchase of apps on Play Store and In-App purchases (which privileges Google Pay over other apps facilitating payment through UPI and mobile wallets), if they want to be listed on the Play Store; and c.) imposing unfair terms on users by requiring them to use Google Pay which is not in compliance with the data localisation directive issued by Reserve Bank of India and the guidelines issued by NPCI. Google counters these arguments, noting that it doesn't even qualify as a monopoly. It argued that it heavy competition from feature phones in India. It also notes that even when Android is invoiced, OEMs in India often pre-load rival app stores. Even when they don't, Google notes that 40% of app downloads in India don't happen on the Play Store. Google also noted that it doesn't grant unmerited prominence or favor in rankings to its own Gooogle apps, noting that it was in its own best interest to ensure that users had the best experience. The Commission didn't agree with some of Google's statements, deeming it a dominant force as far as market share for licensable smartphone operating systems and app stores go. When it comes to Google Pay and Google Play, the Commission will be opening an investigation into whether Google is actually skewing the search results or not, as well as if the Google Play Store billing system unfairly disadvantages rival apps. In a statement to TechCrunch, Google reiterated many of the counter-arguments it made to the watchdog, saying: We are pleased that the CCI has rejected several claims made by the anonymous complainant. On the remaining concerns, first, we are confident that the CCI will find that GPay operates in an extremely competitive environment, and owes its success to its ability to offer consumers a simple and secure payments experience." Secondly, numerous distribution channels exist for apps on the Android platform; Play is not the only app distribution option for Android. Users choose Google Play because we ensure a safe, secure, and seamless experience. Play's billing system is a fundamental part of meeting this user expectation and helps ensure our continued investment in the many important things needed to make developers successful. Source
  3. In the past, if you wanted to send money via Google Pay you’d be prompted to use an old school PIN pattern to authenticate the transfer. Starting with version 2.100 Google is finally adding support for fingerprints and face authentication for money transfers thanks to Android 10’s biometric API. The feature is currently only available for Android 10 devices and is found in the Sending money settings section of the app. Previously you were only limited to using your Google Account Pin but now can switch to biometric authentication instead. Google’s own Pixel 4 lineup relies on facial unlock for authentication so this new addition will certainly be useful for owners of that one. Source: Google Pay finally adds biometric authentication for money transfers (via GSMArena) p/s: While this news is about mobile software app, but this article is suited to be placed under Security & Privacy News as the post does talk about new security feature (using biometric authentication on top of Google Account Pin) on Google Pay when it is installed under Android 10.
  4. When Google says some of its controversial tracking features are "opt in" only, do you realize you've actually agreed to let them snoop on you? Take, for instance, Google's new Pay app. Google Pay's personalization The company is encouraging people to try it out and let Google monitor their finances and purchases in exchange for personalized offers, on a three-month trial. For instance, if Google knows you eat at Burger King, it says it could hit you up with specific BK offers, as opposed to generic restaurant deals in your neighborhood. But it knows people are wary about giving Google yet another license to track their every movement, as it already does with Maps, YouTube viewing, searches and the like. It already knows where you go, what you watch, who you spend time with, what stores you drive to – and more. How do you feel about Google tracking your purchases from inside your wallet? So in announcing the new program, in very small print as part of the user agreement process, Google noted that this Pay personalization feature was opt-in: "At the end of three months, you can decide if you want to keep it on or off." That sounds great, right? Google is putting the decision in your hands. But reality check, folks: Most people won’t even know what they signed up for. The lettering is tiny, just another window of user agreements that people zip through. “People won’t know what they’ve just signed up for,” says Patrick Jackson, the chief technology officer of the privacy app Disconnect. The “Turn on” page is just one of many pages consumers will see when they download the Pay app, and quickly, as they always do, say yes to all the terms. First, Google asks whether it can distribute your phone number as the Pay app, introduced Wednesday, has been rejiggered as part Venmo, part Quicken, part Apple Pay, a vehicle to tap and pay at retail, split pizzas with friends and monitor your finances. So Google needs identification to share with friends. OK, I got that. Next: “Earn rewards when you pay.” Discounts and prizes always welcome. Then, the big one: “Turn on Personalization within Google Pay.” This is in big type. Underneath, in small letters, you see there are “the most relevant offers” from stores and “get recommendations for ways to save.” Here’s the opt-in: “If you turn on Personalization within Google Pay, this data and additional info (like the location where you made a purchase) will also be saved and used to personalize your Google Pay experience. You can also try this setting only for three months.” Consumers are then told they can go to their Google account to turn it back and stop the ads, once they’ve accepted. Jackson says the “opt in” is a ruse, because Google knows that most people just say yes when they sign up for anything: “The only people who read this stuff are the lawyers.” That it’s presented as a “trial” shows Jackson how important this data is to Google. This takes it beyond receipts that Google finds in your Gmail, like airline flights and hotel reservations. "Now they can track other purchases, too," Jackson says. "People probably don’t understand the trade-offs.” And those are that, via the new Google Pay app, Google gets access to your checkbook, debit card, purchases, friends you go out with for meals and their contact information, as well as stores you frequent. (Google says it won't sell your data to third-party marketers, which is what Venmo, the "social payment" app, does do.) But imagine your Quicken transaction history now in Google’s hands. Are you comfortable with that? Do you want even more personalized ads hitting you up based on where you frequent? Food for thought. In a statement, Google said it has ensured that it gives users all the information they need to make an informed decision: "After which, the user can still choose to keep this turned off. This will not impact the features in the app. The app will still help users save, pay and get financial insights." Source
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