Google’s “Pony Express” project will let you pay bills from your Gmail inbox


google pony express 1

Bills — we all hate them. Anything that tells you “your money is ours and you must pay, or else” is the enemy of our enemy. But they must be paid, and according to the latest rumors Google is looking to make the process of paying it simple.

They’re calling it Pony Express, a codename for sure, and it’ll do more than just group all your bills into their own folder on Gmail. Google is actually planning to let you pay those bills directly from within Gmail, if the information Re/Code obtained is accurate.

google pony express 2

Above are a couple of sample screenshots Google is using internally to envision what the user interface would look like. You’ll see who the bill is from, how much is owed and which date payment is due by. Diving into the email can show you more details, and in some cases will ask you if you want to pay. There will even be a feature that lets you automatically split bills between yourself and, say, a spouse or roommate.

google pony express 3

The service would require some personal information on part of the user, such as your credit card number, name, address and even your social security number. Sounds like a nightmare for an information company such as Google to have, right?

That’s the cost of convenience these days, though. Verification is done through a trusted median called Identico (and you should note that Google already collects a lot of this information for those who use Google Wallet). It’s likely the extent of the information needed is due to combat any type of fraud that a user might be susceptible to.

Google is apparently aiming to launch the service around the fourth quarter of this year, and they’re said to be in the process of lining up third-party companies who want to make this route of paying bills available to their customers. Would you opt-in should this come to pass?

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Not a fan of the name… but could be a cool feature for the future.

    1. agreed….thats the name they came up with?

  2. I call bullshit. April Fools’ possibly…

  3. I’m still a little confused as to how this works and how they actually pay the bills?

    1. It simply links the page to your bank account in the same way you can pay your bills from a banking website. Connect your bill account numbers, enter your debit card # or something. Boom, youre paying bills from Gmail.

  4. For what kind of services do you get a bill trough your email instead of mail?

    1. Lots of them. My rent, my car bill, credit card bills, phone bill… Almost all of mine, actually. Lets me easily keep a permanent record.

      1. Never knew that we always receive a letter never a email or you can do it automatically for stuff like your insurance.

    2. The power bill, too.

    3. Most medium to large size companies offer the option to “go paperless” I’m sure you’ve seen it, now you know what it means. It’s not just to be convenient to customers (they don’t care) it saves them money ie. More profit.

  5. Wait, the enemy of our enemy is our friend. Are you saying that bills are our friends?!?! Traitor!!!

  6. Imagine a future, maybe only 5 years down the road…

    -Mobile phone payments are now the standard, accepted everywhere.
    -Google keeps track of your direct deposits and scheduled payments.
    -This service ties directly into Wallet.

    Wallet could theoretically create a cash-flow budget based on actual direct deposits and scheduled payments. If you start to exceed that budget while making your purchase, your phone could send up a flag about a possible non-sufficient funds scenario in the future if you complete the purchase.

    Crazy, I know, but it’s where I went in my head when I read this article.

    1. Crazy. I went to sleep!

      1. That’s a bit unfair…the concept that Google would be essentially monitoring and advising on your budgetary life would be a little hard for a lot of people to swallow.

        1. Umm, no. Not hard to swallow. Not even a mildly difficult concept. Just really not revolutionary or interesting. Google monitoring and advising me on my budgetary life? Seriously? You mean I could have saved all that time getting my Masters Degree in Finance. I sure hope my clients don’t find out about this, I’ll be obsolete. But keep thinking your a genius and everyone else just doesn’t get it. Now I am extremely bored again, back to sleep.

  7. Love the name Pony Express. Cant wait to use it.

    1. They actually can’t. There’s a courier company with such name.

  8. this is awesome. I am looking forward to a simpler life

  9. I do think they have my info already when I stupidly got a Wallet Card (it’s just collecting dust).

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