Google Wallet is pretty easy
Google is officially expanding the payment possibilities for ecommerce with the launch of its newest product through Google Wallet. This simple feature in your email allows you to send money to anyone from a linked bank account for free. For a small fee of 2.9% you can also use a linked debit or credit card. No downloads, no long process to set up like PayPal and others.
There’s even options to send money with your mobile phone or if you don’t have a Gmail account. Google provides robust security of the system and states all transactions are monitored. Google also offers a Wallet Purchase Protection but with some caveats. The protection is not applicable to Youtube or Google properties; you have to contact their customer service teams directly to resolve issues. Also not covered are wrong transaction amounts or anything resulting from user errors.
Google provides guidelines for safe usage of this new service, including providing information about fraudulent merchants. Spoofed invoices are one area of weakness for the product and Google says these invoices are commonly “related to fraudulent vehicle, boats, pianos or tractor purchases, where the scammer persuades the buyer that the high-cost purchase will be protected by Google Wallet. However, the transaction is fraudulent and has nothing to do with Google Wallet.”
Google Wallet is taking the place of Google Checkout
Unfortunately, as a result of this change, Google Wallet will no longer support physical product sales and merchants will need to find other payment methods. It’s not known if that feature will come available in the future. Google Checkout will officially shut down on November 20, 2013, giving merchants time to find an alternative. Google does provide links to three popular services for these businesses and individuals including Freshbooks, Braintree Payments, and Shopify.
This change comes as an obvious bid by Google to jump into the growing and as yet, untapped potential, of mobile transactions. Major payment processors like PayPal, Intuit and Flint are all working to capture this market as well.
Additionally, Google offers a loyalty program through Google Wallet for businesses to help increase customer engagement. The program allows instant signup and live updates. Most beneficial however, is the ability to communicate with existing members of the program, something non-digitized loyalty programs lack.
Once again, Google’s ability to innovate in a timely manner and provide solutions is showcased through this new product. The product will be rolled out to users throughout 2013 and can be seen as a $ sign in the bottom menu of an email message.