Could Gmail be about to make the dreaded task of paying household bills much easier? A new rumour suggests it just might. The website Re/code claims to have seen an internal Google document which sets out plans for Pony Express.
This is a new feature supposedly in development at the search engine’s Silicon Valley HQ which supposedly will see Gmail users able to both receive and pay bills for services like electricity and gas directly from their Gmail inbox.
The document sets out a plan for Pony Express to integrate with Google’s new Gmail app and will give users the convenience of not having to leave their inbox to pay bills on the go. The new feature is expected to go live towards the end of 2015 – with Re/Code suggesting October, November or December. It’s thought the Gmail bill payment feature will also be trialled in the USA first before eventually being rolled out to other regions, possibly in 2016.
To sign up to Pony Express, Gmail users will have to supply personal information that isn’t usually required by the Gmail service including a social security number, home address, full name and possibly even a credit card number. This data will be used to verify the Gmail user’s identity and authenticate their account, to then allow for easy payment of things like phone bills and energy bills.
According to the document viewed by Re/code, Pony Express won’t be just click and pay from an email. It also outlines the inclusion of additional features such as easy access customer service information.