Today, Google held a press event in New York to announce their upcoming Google Wallet. According to Google’s Commerce Vice President Stephanie Tilenius,E-commerce is still only 8 percent of total retail, which in turn means that 92 percent of shopping still happens in the real world. Google believes that the shopping experience has not been fully transformed by technology as of yet. With the ability to use smart phones, geo-location, and NFC technology it is believed that we are heading into a new era of commerce where online and offline shopping will be brought together.
Google is aspiring to bring offers, payments and loyalty together at the point of sale to create the next-generation shopping experience. While the capabilities are quite impressive, the question remains on how quickly the public will adapt to these changes. According to Tilenius, this is going to be a long journey, however consumers have became more and more comfortable shopping online.
Google has already announced the fact that they have teamed up with MasterCard, Citi, Sprint, and First Data. With the help of these major companies it will be some what easier to start pushing in the new mobile-local commerce. In addition to the first initial sign-ups, there are already 300,000 merchants that are interested in Google Wallet and over 100,000 of these are based here in the United States.
Google Wallet is due to launch this summer, and with the ability to “Tap, Pay and Save” using NFC capable devices like the Samsung Nexus S, this number should grow to well over 150 million by the end of this year.
In addition, Google Wallet will support multiple credit card accounts with more cards becoming available later on. At first, Citi MasterCard and a Google pre-paid card will be the first supported. Google Wallet does not only allow you to store your credit cards, but will also give users the ability to store offers, loyalty cards, and gift cards.
Google is also offering the ability to receive daily emails that will give you “deals of the day”. However, there will be other ways to access offers and with Google Offers being integrated into Google Wallet it will be very easy to save with one click. Users will be able to easy redeem these offers by tapping or showing it at the point of sale. Portland, San Fransisco, and New York will be the first with offers when Google launches this summer. Additional, there will be check-in offers, offers ads, and places offers for local merchants. All these offers will be linked to Google Wallet, along with plans on having customization of offers based on purchase history.
During Google’s live press event the showed a demo of how Google Wallet will work along with the security features that will be available. Google Wallet will come with a Google pre-paid card, however it will be possible to add funds via any credit card to the pre-paid Google card. As time goes by there will be the option to add additional cards. Eventually, users will be able to have multiple payment cards all linked in Google Wallet and will be able to choose the one they want to use when making a payment. In addition to that users can also lock Google Wallet for added security.
The Google Wallet is free to partners and Google sees this as a tool for both large and small companies and merchants. Some of the retailers include: Macy’s, Subway, American Eagle, Noahs Bagels, Container Store, Walgreens and many more. This new combination of payments, offers, and loyalty will become very useful for retailers, merchants, and advertisers as time goes on and we should see more retailers added to the list.