The way customers shop through Google and retailers is changing, as the company begins to phase out Google Checkout in favor of Google Wallet.
Goodbye Checkout, Hello Wallet
Google is a company that is always changing through product updates, integrations and new releases.
Through this transition to Google Wallet, Google aims to meet the changing nature of how consumers shop. A blog post from Justin Lawyer, the senior product manager of Google Wallet says since that consumers use a variety of shopping mediums such as in-store, on a laptop or desktop computer and through a mobile device, there needs to be a singular well-rounded platform, like Google Wallet, to make it a more efficient process.
Founded in 2011, Google Wallet is a mobile payment system where users keep their debit, credit, loyalty and gift card information. If a consumer was shopping in-store they would use Google Wallet, which acts like the Mastercard PayPass in that they merely have to tap and pay with their smartphone in order to make purchases. Even though it's a couple years old, Wallet isn't yet widely used by retailers, as many stores haven't adapted the system and online retailers still prefer Google Checkout.
Recently Wallet was updated including an Instant Buy API that’s designed to improve purchase speed, a Wallet Objects API so businesses can offer customers rewards, coupons and special offers and integration with Gmail.
Effecting Everyone a Little Differently
Google Checkout won't be officially removed from use until November 20, so those will use the tool have a few months to adapt to this change, as it affects merchants, customers and developers.
According to Google, the biggest change will be for retailers who don't have a payment processing system and need to, within the next six months, find a different solution. Google notes that it has partnered with Braintree, Shopify and Freshbooks to help make this transition a bit easier as the payment providers are offering discounted migration options. As for U.S merchants that do have a payment processing system they can apply for Google Wallet Instant Buy.
For shoppers, Google Wallet merely aims to make their experiences more efficient and secure as they just have to look for the Google Wallet button on external sites such as Priceline and Google storefronts such as the Chrome Web Store to use the tool. The transition for developers is also a smooth one as those who use Chrome Web Store, Google Play and Offers Marketplace don't have to download or change anything -- the Merchant Center will automatically transition to Google Wallet in the coming weeks.
A Change Will Do You Good … Maybe?
While many retailers and merchants might be skeptical in using the new system, Google says by removing Google Checkout and focusing on Google Wallet the company is meeting customer demand and need -- a decision that many see as catering to the technology generation.
Even just a decade or two ago, carrying cash in your wallet was far more common than it is today,” said Medha Chandorkar of PolicyMic. “The advancement in technology from cash to credit card would mirror the advance from credit card to mobile payments.”
While Google Wallet aims to improve how customer shop, many are still skeptical on its potential success, with a major concern being if it can keep up with other web-based payment systems, such as Amazon and Paypal.
Amazon and eBay's PayPal continue to dominate e-commerce, with a host of lesser-known players also doing the digital scutwork of processing credit-card transactions online,” said Owen Thomas of ReadWrite. “...Google does billions of dollars a year in credit-card transactions. But most of that is for a purely digital product: online ads purchased by small businesses”