Google Wallet merges with Google Checkout to streamline shopping

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Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is merging its Google Checkout online payment processing service with its fledgling Google Wallet mobile commerce platform in an effort to create a more unified digital shopping experience. In addition, Google is beginning to integrate Google Wallet as the payment method across destinations including the Android Market application storefront as well as YouTube and Google+ Games.

Moving forward, consumers who shop with merchants who accept either Google Wallet or Google Checkout can supply their Wallet username and password to complete a purchase. "There's no need to pull out your credit card or enter your shipping address with every transaction," writes Google Wallet product manager Ben Lee on the Google Commerce Blog. In addition, Android smartphone users who add a Citi MasterCard account to the Google Wallet mobile app can use the card to fund online purchases made with the Wallet solution.

"We're committed to upgrading our payment solutions for merchants while ensuring they're able to process payments without interruption during the holidays--so shoppers using Google Wallet will be able to make purchases seamlessly on merchant sites that accept Google Checkout," Lee adds. "Early next year, we will work closely with our merchant partners to switch to the Google Wallet logo and share details on new and upcoming features."

The Near Field Communications-based Google Wallet enables consumers to make purchases and collect or redeem offers by tapping their Android smartphone at 300,000-plus MasterCard PayPass-enabled merchant terminals. Google Wallet is available across all Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) Nexus S smartphones running Android OS version 2.3.4. For now, only PayPass-enabled Citi MasterCards may be loaded to Google Wallet--consumers may also fund the Google Prepaid Card with any existing payment card. Debit cards are not eligible for Google Wallet at this time.

Last month, Google Wallet expanded beyond point-of-sale purchases by introducing support for SingleTap, which enables consumers to redeem coupons and/or earn rewards points with one tap of their smartphone. Google Wallet users can now enter select U.S. retailer partners including American Eagle Outfitters, The Container Store, Foot Locker, Guess, Jamba Juice, Macy's, OfficeMax and Toys"R"Us to instantly save on in-store offers. Google is also partnering with the state of New Jersey to enable tap-and-pay rail and bus transit purchases at select locations.

For more:
- read this Google Commerce Blog entry

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