Remembering to pay your bills sounds easy, but as anyone who has paid a late fee can attest, it’s easy to forget. That’s why the new Google Now cards which remind you when bills are due are a great idea.
The new cards started to roll out to users with Android devices on Thursday. The billing information Google Now provides is relatively simple: the biller, the amount, the due date, and a link to the original email bill. Google Now gathers this data from your Gmail account, so if your cable company still sends bills through the mail, for example, you won’t be getting such alerts through Google Now unless you manually enter them. Google’s email-parsing approach is the same way it obtains flight information, which has been one of the primary Google Now features shown in promotional materials and demonstrations.
Bill pay reminders seems ripe for integration with Google Wallet, but at the moment it looks like Google Now will redirect you to the original email to pay the bill: it’s a reminder, not a payment system. However, according to Android Police, hooks exist in the code for strings such as “previous balances” and “see more bills,” so there are features likely to emerge as Google Now matures. Yesterday, Google added PayPal as a billing option for digital content on Google Play, and it’ll be interesting to see whether Google integrates payment features into Google Now.
Google Now updates usually roll out without notification, but if you think your cards are past due, you can make sure you’re running the most recent version at the Google Play store.