Google has hired a former PayPal executive to help bolster Google Pay, with plans to expand into the crypto space.
Arnold Goldberg has been given the task of running Google’s payments division as part of a company-wide push into financial services, including crypto.
Google’s President of Commerce Bill Ready told Bloomberg that:
“Crypto is something we pay a lot of attention to [...] As user demand and merchant demand evolves, we’ll evolve with it.”
Google Pay is an online payment system developed by Google to allow in-app, online and contactless purchases on mobile devices including Android phones, tablets and watches.
As part of the overhaul, Google will focus more on being a “comprehensive digital wallet” that includes digital tickets, airline passes and vaccine passports, Ready said.
Following the news, the price of Bitcoin (BTC) spiked to a high of $42,478 (from a 24-hour low of $41,254) before falling back down to $41,887 at the time of writing, according to Coinmarketcap.
Google has been dipping its toes in the crypto space for quite some time, partnering with several crypto companies through 2021. Ready said that the company plans to pursue more partnerships with more crypto companies.
In April 2021, Google Pay announced a new partnership with the global crypto exchange Gemini. The update allowed Gemini users to purchase Bitcoin through Google Pay using fiat currency on a debit or credit card.
The tech giant also partnered with Coinbase in June, allowing customers of the exchange to pay for goods and services through Google Pay using their Coinbase Card. Users also were able to gain crypto rebates of up to 4% for their shopping.
In October, a partnership between crypto exchange Bakkt and Google allowed customers of the exchange to purchase goods and services using some select cryptocurrencies through their Google Pay wallet.
As for PayPal, it appears that the fintech company will be one man down as it explores the creation of its own stablecoin. Earlier this month, PayPal confirmed plans to launch “PayPal Coin,” which developer Steve Moser first found in the source code of the platform’s iPhone app.
Related: Bakkt crypto exchange partners with Google for payments
This comes only three months after the tech giant axed its plans for a service called “Plex” that would allow users to create checking and savings accounts.
“We’re not a bank — we have no intention of being a bank,” Ready said about the decision to cut Plex. “Some past efforts, at times, would unwittingly wade into those spaces.”
Google Pay debuted in 2015, with a revamp in 2020 which transformed the platform into a hub where customers could track their expenses and hunt for discounts.