Google (GOOG) is currently working on a project called “Pony Express”, though that could be an internal code name, that will let users pay bills in Gmail, Re/code reports, citing a lengthy document viewed by the publication.
The search giant is apparently working on a setup asking the user for personal information – including name, address and full social security – to provide to a third party that vets their identity. Depending on the bill, the user may also have to provide information such as a credit card number or telephone service account number too.
After the user is authenticated, he or she can receive and pay the bills through Gmail or the Inbox app – Google’s new email app. The user can pay using a credit or debit card, based on the platform’s images, or using a link right from within Pony Express. Re/code also notes that aside from paying a full bill yourself, the service allows users to share a bill with another Gmail user “with the added option of automating the process, a feature that appears to be catered to roommates who typically split utilities.”
According to the documents, it appears Google is partnering with third-party vendors that print and mail out bills rather than the service providers themselves.
Re/code says the bill payment service through Gmail is expected to launch in Q4/15.