The battle of the digital wallets is hotting up. Two weeks after Apple Pay entered Israel to a warm welcome from iPhone users, with nearly 200,000 Israelis having used the service, Google is bringing forward the arrival in Israel of its Google Pay app.
Since Google does not usually commit to a precise date for investments of this kind, the assessments spoke of Google Pay becoming available in Israel towards the end of the year, but it now turns out that the global technology giant will bring forward its investment to the third quarter, although here too no precise date has been given.
Google Pay's advent in Israel will have a considerable effect on the digital wallets already operating here, such as Bank Hapoalim's Bit Card, Bank Leumi's digital wallet, and those of the credit card companies. The reason is that Google Pay works on Android, which is the operating system on the smartphones of over 70% of Israelis.
Google is not stopping at a digital wallet; it aims to create a mobile bank account for its customers as well. This pilot program, called Google Plex, started in the UIS early this year, enabling Google Pay users to open bank accounts through a partnership with eleven banks.
Google Plex accounts integrated with Google Pay features create an attractive proposition, offering such benefits as no monthly fees, no minimum balance, use of AI-based insights for meeting savings targets, money transfers between people and among groups, and more.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on May 19, 2021
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