Google Wallet has cut off the selling of digital goods, but wants to encourage more users to use it
Since Apple Pay came onto the scene, Google has understandably got something to worry about in the payments market it’s been trying to break into with mixed success. The Google Wallet service has been rolled out across most Android phones and makes use of the HCE NFC Tap and Pay service Google offers with all Android handsets. It’s even been rolled out across Gmail, helping people send money to their friends and family quickly and easily, and received a physical card to help with money management.
But, despite this steadily growing user base, it’s opted to pull the ability for merchants to sell digital goods using its Wallet platform.
“When we first launched Google Wallet for digital goods, we wanted to make it simple for users and merchants to buy and sell online,” read a post on the Google Developer website. “The industry has matured a lot since then, providing a number of alternative payment solutions to choose from.
“To preserve your user experience, we highly recommend removing your integration and migrating to another payment processing solution as soon as possible.”
This means that users can no longer buy digital goods from online merchants for, what seems like, no apparent reason. Customers can still use Google Wallet for in-store purchases and to buy digital goods from Google Play and in-app purchases too.
But while Google may well be taking with one hand, it’s giving away $100,000 with the other.
That’s right, in a bid to drum up Google Wallet use against Apple Pay as the holiday season sets in, the web development company is offering users $5 for every new person they sign up to Google Wallet.
It works by one user sending money to another, who doesn’t have a Wallet already, and then them signing up to recieve the money. Each person will get $5 for free, and there doesn’t seem to be a bottom limit on how much you can send to claim this.
The catch is that the promotion runs until the end of November or after the first 20,000 referrals.
While it may seem like an odd method of growing the userbase, since the launch of Apple Pay, research by Stratos suggests that 30 per cent of US smartphone users intend to use mobile payments over the holiday season.
[Image: Christopher Camp - Flickr]