Less than a month after Wallet's official release, Google is expanding core features. The three key elements are the automatic rewards features, expanded and exclusive offers, and partnerships with several major merchants.
Google's New Features, in Detail
Google Wallet, the NFC payment technology that lets users pay with a single tap, was launched officially in late September. Now, less than a month later, Google is pushing forward by implementing a comprehensive "Google Wallet SingleTap experience."
How? First, Google is adding automatic rewards options, allowing merchants to give their customers loyalty points or other rewards instantly when a purchase is made through Wallet. This technology is likely driven by Punchd, a company that offered electronic loyalty cards and which Google acquired earlier this year.
Google is also giving users access to some exclusive deals, such as "15% off at American Eagle Outfitters, 10% off at The Container Store, 15% off at Macy’s and an all-fruit smoothie for $2 at Jamba Juice," according to the Google blog post announcing the new features.
Those exclusive deals are just the start, however. Users can hunt down special offers using Wallet and save those offers to their account. Then, during purchase, Wallet deploys saved deals automatically.
The expanded deals may also stem from a recent acquisition, Zave Networks, which created software to connect users with coupons and special offers in their area.
Last, and most importantly, Google is winning over more merchants. Partners deploying the new features include American Eagle Outfitters, The Container Store, Foot Locker, Guess, Jamba Juice, Macy’s, OfficeMax and Toys'R'Us, according to Google's announcement. Additionally, Chevron, D’Agostino, Faber News Now, Gristedes Supermarkets, and Pinkberry are working on implementing similar Wallet programs.
Google is no doubt working hard to partner with major retailers around the world, but we see the influence of recent acquisitions yet again. This time, the acquisition of DailyDeal (a Groupon-styled local offer website) and the Dealmap (a local deal aggregator) seem to be the key Google moves.
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