Getting Paid: Google Checkout Converts to Google Wallet
Date: Fri, 03/30/2012 - 12:43
Google has converted its merchant services to Google Wallet. If you're a consumer, this isn't a big deal. All it means is that when you check out after purchasing something through Google on your smart phone or computer, you'll be redirected to Google Wallet from the Google Checkout page. Merchants will be slightly affected. Although Google doesn't require merchants to change the way their websites handle Google payments, merchants must change any text on their websites that refers to Google Checkout. By early 2012, all merchants' websites must refer to the Google Wallet program rather than the Google Checkout program.
What is Google Wallet?
Google Wallet is a smartphone application that allows consumers to purchase goods or services using their phones. The application stores a consumer’s credit card information in his phone, just like the old Google Checkout application did. When the consumer visits a retail store that participates in the Google Wallet program, he can pay for his purchases by opening the application and tapping on a payment button. After the consumer makes the purchase, the store sends him an electronic receipt on his smartphone.
Not all phones have Google Wallet capability yet. At the time of publication, only the Android supports Google Wallet. Currently, Toys R Us, Subway, Macy’s and Walgreens, participate in the program. Google hopes to add more phones and more retailers as the program gains popularity.
Can I Use Google Wallet With My Computer?
Google Wallet was mainly designed to make online and in-store purchases via a smartphone. However, since the service supersedes Google Checkout, which was designed for use with computers as well as smartphones, computer users will be able to use Google Wallet as well. New customers can access Google Wallet directly from their computers by going to the old Google Checkout site. Customers must store their credit card information with Google. Then they can pay for purchases using Google. However, when customers sign into the Google Checkout site, it will redirect them to the new Google Wallet site. This site offers all the same features as the old site. Customers can pay for online purchases using Google Wallet. The only difference between the new site and the old site is that the new site allows smartphone customers to pay for some in-store purchases with their smartphones. Google Checkout doesn't allow customers to pay for purchases in-store with their computers.
What Does the Change Mean for Merchants?
Some online merchants accept Google Checkout payments on their websites. Merchants who accept these payments don't have to worry about their website codes. Google Wallet will work exactly the same on their websites as Google Checkout does. However, merchants will have to update their website copy. Google currently doesn't have any deadline for this change; however, it has announced that merchants must change all website copy from “Google Checkout” to “Google Wallet” by early 2012. Thus merchants may want to start changing their website text now, especially if they mention Google Checkout on multiple websites. This will give them ample time to convert all their websites before Google announces an official guideline.
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