Google is apparently working on a way for users to receive bills from service providers to their Gmail accounts and pay for them without having to leave the confines of their inbox.
According to a document review by Re/Code, the feature is called Pony Express and is scheduled to be rolled out in the fourth quarter.
Such a service would be a natural extension to what Google has begun with Google Now, that currently has the capability to notify you about upcoming and outstanding bills.
What’s In It For Google?
The Internet search giant could start pulling an abundance of financial data from Pony Express, and Re/Code notes that it could even serve as a gateway into new industries such as personal financing and lending.
Further, having the financial details of an individual will help Google build a better profile of them, improving its ad targeting capabilities, however it is expected that this will spark numerous privacy concerns.
Google is apparently in talks with third party vendors that print and mail bills on the behalf of service providers, getting them to make digital copies instead.
Using the service will apparently be straightforward. Users will have to sign up with their name, home address and verification factor like driver’s license number or a credit card.
Doing this will ensure digital bills are delivered to a user’s email inbox, where they’ll be able to pay their dues with a connected debit card or directly from a bank account.