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QR support for Google Pay could make sending cash to pals a breeze

Don't have a phone with NFC but need to send/receive cash? Then this leaked Google Pay feature might be for you.

Published onSeptember 24, 2018

The Google Pay logo on a smartphone.
  • Google is reportedly working on P2P payments via QR codes in Google Pay.
  • The news comes via the same person who leaked Snapchat’s Android redesign.
  • QR-based payments only require a camera and internet connection, making it ideal for budget phones.

Google Pay joined the peer-to-peer (P2P) payments party a few months back, allowing users to send and request cash via the app. Now, it seems like Google is working on P2P payments via the humble QR code.

Screenshots revealed by leaker Jane Manchun Wong (h/t: XDA-Developers) show functionality that appears similar to other QR-based payment solutions. That means scanning a friend’s QR code to initiate payments to them — or they can scan your code to send cash to you.

The tipster has a solid track record too, previously leaking Snapchat’s Android redesign.

Google Pay is working on QR code for peer-to-peer payments
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) September 21, 2018

QR-based payments aren’t exactly new, even for Google’s payments app itself. The Google Pay app in India (previously known as Tez) uses QR codes and even proprietary audio QR codes to make payments.

Opinion: Mobile payment apps need more than NFC for global success
Samsung Pay is one of many NFC mobile payment apps.

The payment format has also gained popularity in sub-Saharan Africa, China, and other emerging markets. After all, the only requirements are an internet connection and a camera. Meanwhile, an NFC chip is required for the likes of Samsung Pay, but this chip isn’t guaranteed in budget phones.

The QR format does have its fair share of security concerns though, such as hidden malware in third-party QR scanners. Security researchers have also previously blown the whistle on malicious QR codes, taking users to phishing websites and other dodgy destinations.

What do you make of QR-based P2P payments? Would you use a Google-backed solution? Let us know in the comments section!