- Google Pay started selling movie tickets in the United Kingdom as part of a collaboration with theater operator Vue Entertainment and customer engagement company Urban Airship, according to an announcement. Moviegoers can add film tickets to their Google Pay wallet and skip the box office to head straight into Vue cinemas at more than 30 locations.
- Dan Green, head of digital at Vue, said in the announcement that offering movie tickets through Google Pay is part of the theater operator's effort to personalize its services and appeal to mobile wallet users. The feature displays a scannable code on a smartphone's lock screen after the moviegoer pays for the ticket, and doesn't require users to download a separate app.
- About half of Vue's app transactions at theaters come from mobile wallet movie tickets rather than its app. The company aims to boost mobile wallet usage in its theaters, per the announcement.
The addition of ticketing to mobile wallets makes the payment methods more useful to consumers in a variety of settings, including for moviegoing, travel and commuting. Vue's integration with Google Pay provides a more frictionless service to consumers who can pay ahead and avoid waiting in line to buy tickets at theaters. About 24% of mobile users in the U.K. have used a payment app, the third-highest usage rate after China (47%) and Norway (42%), according to data compiled by payment fee comparison service Merchant Machine.
By integrating Google Pay instead of a proprietary payment processor, Vue could see a higher level of adoption, as consumers may be more comfortable using the familiar and established tool. Google Pay has gradually expanded its footprint after Google this year unified its various payment services under a single brand. Before this year, Google had offered mobile payments, in-store checkout and money transfers among friends through several services such as Android Pay, Google Wallet and several others, Bloomberg reported. The company faces growing competition from rivals like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Amazon Pay and bank-created tools.
The Vue integration is Google's latest push into the movie ticket-buying space. Fandango, the U.S. movie ticketing company that reaches 67 million users a month, in January added Google Pay as a digital payment option for movie ticket purchases among its online, mobile and social platforms. In May, Fandango partnered with Google to let consumers buy movie tickets with voice commands using Google Assistant. Moviegoers can order tickets for more than 30,000 screens nationwide using the Fandango Action, without needing to download Fandango's separate mobile app.