Google Pay users in the States have a pretty nice thing going for them, with the service supported by umpteen million financial institutions (give or take a million). But as we travel abroad, the situation's much more hit-and-miss. It's far from a sure thing that Google Pay is available in a country at all, and even where it is, the selection of partner banks can be pretty sparse. So today we're happy to share with you some progress towards remedying that situation, as new banks come online for Google Pay around the globe.
Google Pay is continuing its expansion to various countries around the world. Today marks its official landing in four new nations in the Nordics: Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. With these additions, Google's mobile payment service is now available in 25 countries total.
At its I/O conference in May, Google announced that it would expand Home and Home Mini availability to seven new countries by the end of 2018. The smart speakers have already launched in Mexico, Spain, and, most recently, South Korea. Users from The Netherlands, Sweden, Demnark, and Norway will soon join the party.
Google has been testing more language support for Assistant in several countries including Denmark and Norway. Now, it seems that those two languages are either going live for everyone or nearly about to do so.
Up until recently, the Google Wifi router and mesh network system was only available in 7 countries on the Google Store: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand, the UK, and the USA. The country availability support page of Google even officially attests to that. But Google Wifi is now up for sale in 5 more countries, mostly from Northern Europe.
Your opinion is worth something. Not much, but something. Companies are willing to pay for consumer feedback, and in this area, Google is no exception. It is happy to reward people for answering a few mundane questions. And now that offer extends out to people in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.
Google is often accused of having a heavy focus on the United States. That's certainly true, but come on - it's a US company. Nobody seems to mind that Samsung sells a ton of phones in South Korea, or that Japan gets the newest and hottest Canon cameras before anyone else. Can you really blame a company with limited hardware resources for prioritizing a new product launch in certain markets?
Google has an odd definition of "soon." For example, five of the countries that just received access to Google Play gift cards were first told that they were coming "soon" almost five months ago, and the last one has been waiting a further six weeks. Oh well, I suppose it's best not to look a gift card in the mouth. Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Norway, and Sweden have been added to Google's gift card system, and merchants should have gift cards in stock well before Christmas.
Belgium, Finland, and Ireland all get cards with Euro values of 15, 25, and 50, while Denmark, Norway, and Sweden get 150, 250, and 500 Krone/Krona cards.
If you're a Norwegian Android developer, you might want to consider attending JavaZone, an independent Java programming and development conference being held in Oslo from September 9th through the 11th. If you're not, you can still enjoy this parody trailer for the event posted to the group's YouTube page. If you're at work or in public, heads up: the video below has some mild swearing.
To get all the in-jokes here you'd probably need a programming undergrad degree, a passing knowledge of George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones novels or the HBO TV show, and an awareness of the litigious copyright and patent lawsuits spiraling around the technology industry.
Good news, European readers: physical gift cards for the Google Play Store are coming to more of you soon. Google updated its list of supported countries for gift cards today, marking Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden as "coming soon." We can't say exactly when - a few other countries like Greece, Poland, and Portugal got the same treatment earlier this month, and they're still marked as coming soon instead of linking to the relevant page.