The Google Assistant will soon receive native support for digital purchases, the Alphabet-owned company revealed during the opening Keynote of the Google I/O 2017 developer conference. The Internet giant's digital companion will receive the new functionality via an update that's scheduled to start rolling out in the coming days and will allow users to order and pay for goods and services without relying on third-party websites. Instead of creating individual accounts for each vendor, the feature will allow consumers to pay for goods and services from Google's network of partners using only their Google Wallet information. The experimental version of the Google Assistant's support for payments will only support Panera Bread's online store, but the bakery-café chain will not be the only major partner company that will become a part of Google's growing ecosystem this year.
As industry watchers previously speculated, Google opted to develop its assistant's support for online purchases around Google Wallet that can already store all of the necessary information you need to pay for something online. Your name, birthday, credit card information, and address can be saved by the company's mobile payment platform and the Google Assistant will use that data to facilitate the process of making purchases. The artificial intelligence (AI) companion will also send you notifications about the status of your order, though the Mountain View-based company said it's working on redesigning its notification algorithms in an effort to avoid scenarios in which the Google Assistant is serving you with too many notifications at once. While Notification Channels that are set to debut in the first stable build of Android O would certainly be helpful in this regard, it's understood that Google is working on a more imminent solution for limiting purchase-related notifications sent by the Google Assistant that's currently supported on devices that are running Android versions as old as Marshmallow.
The company has yet to disclose when exactly will the purchase-enabling update be hitting the Google Assistant, but more details on that front are bound to follow soon. The experimental version of the service will only launch in the United States though its availability will likely be expanded in the future.