Google Pay’s support page has a few new banks in the United States, all of them being small, local banks and credit unions. The 15 new banks on offer include American State Bank & Trust Company, Tampa State Bank, and Zellco Federal Credit Union, among many others. Generations Bank, meanwhile, is split up into two branches; New York and Arkansas. To check if your bank is supported, simply head through the link above to the aforementioned support page, then expand the full list of banks, and hit CTRL+F on desktop, or for Chrome on Android, hit the menu button and go to “Find in page”.
This expanded support is an important ongoing effort for Google; its biggest competitors are ahead of it in that regard by a pretty wide margin. Apple Pay was early to the game and picked up a wide variety of supporting banks early on, and continues to expand. Samsung Pay, meanwhile, continues to pick up supporting banks and businesses via NFC, the same tech powering Google Pay and Apple Pay, but also has MST to fall back on, making it usable almost anywhere one could use a debit card.
Even if you personally are still left waiting, Google isn’t exactly dropping the ball on adding new banks to Google Pay. It’s been adding a good number of new banks on a fairly consistent basis since all the way back when the service was called Android Pay, and it sometimes adds large swaths of banks all at once. To stand out from the crowd, Google Pay has also begun picking up other capabilities. You can use it with your Starbucks card to top up and grab some coffee without having to have your wallet nearby, or even use it to store airplane boarding passes.
One of the biggest difficulties facing Google Pay at this point isn’t bank support, but rather store support. While you can use Google Pay at a huge number of major chains, there are still a few hangers-on that refuse to pick it up, such as old-school retailer K-Mart and a number of gas station chains. Google’s mobile payment solution isn’t that much harder to implement than its peers in most cases, but there can be complications that others may not face. Mom and pop shops, small businesses, and the like, meanwhile, are left out in the cold almost entirely.
Accepting Google Pay as a payment method requires specialized support from your POS manufacturer, among other factors. Though small business owners are always free to accept personal payments from customers phone-to-phone, this requires them to have a phone that supports Google Pay, and could easily cause trouble with commonly seen payment setups like hooking up a Square reader to an iPad. Other possible hangups include staff training, corporate shenanigans, liability issues, licensing and more. Despite all of this, Google Pay has done a great job of growing and expanding since its nascent days as Android Pay, and will presumably continue to do so well into the foreseeable future.