Google has decided to combine its payment-oriented services. Google Checkout users will be prompted to migrate to Google Wallet on their next login, while webmasters will be guided through a transition early next year.
What the Transition Means
For Google Checkout users, the transition may seem at first like just a shift in branding. However, by transitioning the account details – including payment information and shipping address – into the Wallet platform, Checkout users will be able to more easily set up the Google Wallet app. While use of the app is certainly not necessary, the transition will serve as a new window of exposure for Google's mobile payment system.
Meanwhile, those using Google Wallet for in-store payments will be able to use their same account information for online purchases anywhere that Google Checkout was previously used. The payment information stored in Wallet, including the Citi MasterCard (the first card that partnered with Google) or Google prepaid card, will be available for online purchases.
In brief, by combining the two services, Google is increasing the value of Wallet and giving users an additional incentive to sign up. Since more users will likely register, that also means store locations who use the NFC technology and webmasters using the Google for payments will appeal to a wider audience.
How the Transition Will Happen
Webmasters won't have to make any changes at this point, but will automatically be able to accept payments through Google Wallet. Early next year, the images used for Google Checkout will be migrated to the Google Wallet branding.
Other Google Wallet Improvement
Google is also introducing some additional features, partners, and options for Google Wallet. For purchases made on the mobile web, Google is trying out a simplified payment process designed for the mobile experience. At this time the service is being offered only to select merchants, with prominent partners including Fandango and MovieTickets.com.
Google is also spreading to new partners, including Gap Inc stores in the San Francisco Bay Area. Over 65 Gap-owned locations will now accept NFC payments via Google Wallet.
Additionally, to promote Wallet services to residents of areas that have a notable number of partners, Google is going on tour, introducing San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, New York, and Chicago to how Wallet works while chipping in for purchases.
Do you use Google Wallet? What has your experience been like? What's stopping you from trying to service? And is the entire idea of NFC something that seems worthwhile to you? Give us your thoughts in the comments, below.