Google Launches Plastic “Wallet Card” To Revive Payments Initiative

Screen Shot 2013-11-21 at 6.13.06 AM I won't fully review the unlucky history of Google Wallet, a product which launched with very high expectations in September 2011. Its key personnel left (or were ousted) and it has effectively been blocked or thwarted by mobile operators with a competing payment product (Isis) that has just been released nationally, with a murky outlook. Google Wallet has also met with public indifference. Accordingly, a year or so ago there were rumors of a physical payment card that was supposed to extend Google Wallet's reach and use cases. However that launch was reportedly killed at the last moment. R [...]

Has Google Wallet Already Failed?

mobile-payment-wallet-featured Businessweek ran an article today in which it assesses the current state of Google's Wallet efforts. Osama Bedier, who came from PayPal and ran the Google Wallet initiative, is leaving the company. And, Google is rethinking its expectations of Wallet. Google Wallet is the consolidated product name for all stored credit card transactions online and on mobile devices. Google's merchant credit-card processing service for e-commerce (once called Checkout) is being discontinued. The company also declined to introduce a plastic payment card at its Google I/O developer conference. That payment [...]

Google Sunsets Google Checkout To Put Focus On Google Wallet

Google Checkout Logo Google is putting Google Checkout out to pasture and placing its payment processing future solely on Google Wallet. The company has announced it will retire Google Checkout in six months. The news comes a week after Google announced several new features for the Google Wallet platform. The new Instant Buy Android API is designed to make it easier for users to buy physical goods and services in native Android apps in as few as two clicks. The Wallet Objects API allows merchants to integrate their loyalty programs and offers into Google Wallet. And a new integration with Gmail will enable [...]

Blurring Online And Offline, Google Tests Same Day Delivery With “Shopping Express”

Google Shopping By some measures, e-commerce is doing very well. This past year, US retail e-commerce hit $186.2 billion, according to comScore. The firm added that Q4 was the first $50 billion quarter, which was also the "ninth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth." However, things are not all smiles and good cheer in e-commerce land. Relatively soon, sales tax for online purchases will be commonplace (as it now is in California), removing one of e-commerce's key advantages over traditional retail. Taxes are coming because e-commerce is now perceived as relatively stable, strong and mature (no l [...]

Google Breaks Up Mapping And Commerce Unit, Sends Jeff Huber To Google X

Google has decided to break up the unit that formerly combined mapping and commerce in a mini-reorganization coinciding with the transfer of Android to the leadership of Chrome SVP Sundar Pichai. Jeff Huber who formerly ran the combined commerce + local group is now becoming part of Sergey Brin's "Google X" team. According to the Wall Street Journal: The mapping unit will become part of the Google search team, led by Alan Eustace, and the commerce unit will be tucked into the advertising group, led by Susan Wojcicki.  The change may have been prompted by some tension in the combination o [...]

Rumor: Google Creating Amazon Prime Competitor Including Same Day Delivery

Google Shopping According to TechCrunch, Google is creating an Amazon Prime competitor. The two twists are: it will apparently be cheaper and also offer same-day delivery from selected brick-and-mortar retailers. TechCrunch says the new service will be called "Google Shopping Express." Apparently stores like Wal-Mart and Target are some of the potential offline retail partners. If any part of this is true (and it's likely that there's at least some truth to what TechCrunch is reporting) it's very interesting. Google is stepping up its campaign against Amazon, the undisputed king of online e-commerce. If [...]

Google Play Gives Email Addresses To Developers, Raises Privacy Issues

google-play-security-featured Attention is being focused on how Google Play -- Google's app and content store -- provides the name, email address and city location of those who purchase apps. Google's privacy policies don't make clear this is happening, something Google probably needs to correct. Personal Info That Google Gives Developers Developer Dan Nolan posted about this issue yesterday, saying that he found that for those who purchased his Paul Keating Insult Generator app on Google Play, he was able to see their email addresses, suburbs (which I'll assume means city names) and in some cases, their full names. [...]

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