With its mobile wallet struggling to gain traction on the high street, Google is to use its extensive Web assets to spur uptake, announcing a new payments API for Chrome browsers and the ability to send money as a Gmail attachment.
To transfer cash by Gmail, Google Wallet users simply hover over the attachment paperclick, click the dollar icon, enter the amount they wish to send, and press send.
Elsewhere on the Web and in the handset, Google is relying on the popularity of its Chrome browser and Android operating system to seed the Wallet at merchant check-outs. Within Chrome this is achieved via a new requestAutocomplete API which automatically updates shipping information at participating merchants, allowing users to bypass the tedious process of multiple form filling before they pay for their goods.
For Android, a new Google Wallet Instant Buy Android API is intended to make buying in native Android apps fast and easy. The Instant Buy API is designed for merchants and developers selling physical goods and services, who already have a payment processor and are looking to simplify the mobile checkout experience for their customers.
The Google Wallet API has also been souped up to offer deeper integration and intelligent push notification for loyalty programmes and discounted offers. The API enables merchants and brands to create loyalty cards that are discoverable within Google Wallet including a 2-click signup process to the brand's loyalty programme. Cards can also be added to Wallet from 'Save to Wallet' buttons anywhere on the Web, while existing members can scan their physical card to have it added to Google Wallet.
Retailers who have already started started integrating with the Wallet Objects API, include Alaska Airlines, Belly, BillGuard, The Body Shop, BJs Restaurants, Raley's, Red Mango, Marriott Rewards and RetailMeNot.