Google: Wallet usage doubles since opening to all credit cards


Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Wallet usage has doubled in the six weeks since the company rolled out a cloud-based version supporting all credit and debit cards from Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover.

With the move to the cloud, consumers may now save any card to Google Wallet by entering the number into the contactless payment app, online wallet or Google Play storefront. After the card is added, Google partner Bancorp Bank issues a Google Wallet Virtual Card linked to the consumer's account--when the user makes an in-store purchase, Google Wallet processes the merchant payment via the virtual card, then charges the amount of the original purchase to the selected debit or credit card. Earlier this week, Google said it will discontinue its branded prepaid card Oct. 17 because it has outlived its usefulness now that Google Wallet supports all cards.

"Consumers have immediately grasped the benefit of being able to use any card when shopping in-store and online," Google Wallet Commerce Business Development Manager Frank  Young said. Google has not announced exactly how many consumers are using Google Wallet or any related financial metrics.

Young added that migrating Google Wallet to the cloud also has simplified card issuer integration. "Issuers no longer need to connect their systems directly to ours," he explained. "We have completely eliminated the cost and complexity for issuers to offer their customers their cards in a mobile wallet. What was previously an effort that could take many months, cost millions and require complex orchestration among many parties has been reduced to a few simple steps."

The Near Field Communications-based Google Wallet first launched in May 2011. The app enables consumers to make purchases by tapping their Android smartphone at more than 200,000 MasterCard PayPass-enabled merchant terminals across the U.S. Google Wallet also includes support for SingleTap, which allows users to redeem coupons and/or earn rewards points, as well as Featured Offers, which spotlights exclusive discounts from select retailers.

Barclaycard US said Thursday it will aggressively promote Google Wallet across its L.L.Bean and US Airways co-branded card programs, encouraging consumers to save their cards to the app from their online account. Once signed up, Barclaycard cardholders will see a full-color digital image of their card as a Google Wallet payment option.

For more:
- read this Google Commerce blog entry

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