People use Google’s Gmail to firm up brunch plans with a friend, exchange notes with colleagues and say hi to their mom. Now, Google wants to add another use to that list: Paying bills.
The search giant is reportedly working on new functions that will let users send money right from their email inbox. The search giant is building a service reportedly called “Pony Express” that will allow users to pay bills and split the costs with other Gmail users, according to Recode. The service will link directly to users’ bank accounts or debit cards. It’s unclear if Pony Express is the actual name of the new product, or just a codename.
To use the product, users enter information like their name, address and Social Security number via a third-party company that will collect that information. Once you’ve registered, you can pay bills through Gmail or Inbox, Google’s email overlay that works with Gmail. The service is expected to launch in the fourth quarter of this year, according to Recode.
A Google spokeswoman declined to comment.
As more people route their lives through computers and mobile devices, it’s logical to add bills and finances into the mix. Google has been increasingly ambitious in its efforts to move beyond its dominant search engine business. A strong foothold in financial services could give people another reason to stick with Google’s products. It’s not clear what Google would do with the data it could collect from the service.
The product would also be a way for Google to fortify its 11-year-old Gmail service, which has more than 425 million users.