Enabling Technologies

Google Introduces Another Payments Product, Plaso, a BLE & Voice-Recognition based POS System

With Google Wallet not generating any substantial returns, and emerging competitors like Apple Pay posing greater challenges for survival in market, Google is now developing a new payment system to make a comeback. Google has begun testing a new service called “Plaso” which would allow Android phone users to pay at retailers. As reported by The Information, Plaso basically involves a new retail point-of-sale software that works with Android and can integrate into retailers’ existing payment processing systems.

The Plaso service appears to be using BLE (Bluetooth low energy) based beacon technology to detect payment apps on customer’s smartphones. Moreover the customer is supposed to “verbally communicate” his/her name in order to process the transaction further. The transaction is completed using some form of digital transfer of payment credentials which could either take place from the device or from the cloud. There are currently no insights on how the user would be authenticated. There is also the uncertainty whether Plaso will actually see the light of day. However, it is currently being tested by Google employees at retailers such as Papa Johns and Panera Bread.

This recent initiative by Google seems to be in response to growing popularity of Apple Pay. But it’s not just about developing a new form of technology driven systems. The ideal strategy should be to be an integrated part of the payments ecosystem as Apple Pay has done. Its most highlighted aspect is its list of growing partners right from merchants to banks to app developers. Google might or might not be making the right moves here but its certain that they can only turn the tables if they really come up with something radically innovative as compared to competitors.

The strength of a payment system can be measured from its ability to influence consumer behavior. And Apple Pay is ideally one such payment system that has been able to act as an influencer in the market. This is one major aspect that Google should have its strategy oriented towards.

Besides this, Google is taking other initiatives as well to make an impact through its payment system. Google Wallet recently entered the UK market via Gmail as medium for remittance service. The Wallet app is also getting spiffy updates from time to time. Google Wallet can certainly get a boost if it is equipped with the reportedly upcoming “Plaso” system.


Ray has keen interest in the area of devices, OS and wireless technologies. He is a Mobile Technology enthusiast and believes that Mobility is going to completely change the way we do Payments and Commerce. He wishes to share this belief with the world by providing such content through LetsTalkPayments. Ray has done his engineering as well as MBA.

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