UPDATE: Below is the video of Priceline's integration of Google Wallet into their Android app, which explains just how the integration will look in real time - "speed always wins." Rather than an app, the functionality will be a Google Wallet Instant Buy, and will be like a much-more streamlined PayPal button for Google users. The Priceline app update is available today, and other launch partners include Airbnb, Booking.com, Uber and Expedia, among a dozen others. This is clearly solving a pain point for companies with a mobile offering.
This is an impressive development in mobile commerce. It will most certainly increase usage of Google+, and increase conversions for companies on their mobile apps - putting more money in their pockets to spend on advertising. However, Google tells Tnooz that there will be no sharing of purchases via Google+.
Merchants will also receive the last four digits of the credit card number, which should help alleviate identification of frequent visitors. In fact, Google Wallet has announced the Google Wallet Objects API, which will allow developers to bake loyalty into their apps (more details from Google here), and counts Alaska Airlines as a launch partner.
For the Priceline demo video, click here.
Other slides from the presentation at I/O show both the pain points solved and the integration workflow for developers.
With mobile e-commerce predicted to reach over $278 billion by 2015, the mobile payments sector is heating up - and Google is at the head of the pack, announcing the next iteration of Google Wallet at the I/O Conference later today.
Travel's up first
Travel is at the forefront of this new technology, as Priceline.com's Jonathan Taylor, VP of mobile technology, will be on hand to announce a significant win for Google: Priceline.com will be integrating Google Wallet payments for travel in the very near future.
The teaser is already live on the Google Wallet homepage, with a one-click request for an invite via a signed-in Google account.
The concept is simple: Google Wallet is an app, rather than just a website or an integration via MasterCard's PayPass. It's an actual payment app that lives on Android devices. Users can sign in using their Google+ username and account, and then pay for online purchases directly via the app.
Google promises a 2-click purchase process for merchants users have patronized before, and a 3-screen process for first-time purchases to set up the necessary details.
Rather than being an update of sorts it is a completely new product that signals a new direction for Google. They are not only just going for a deeper integration of Google Wallet in the purchase cycle, but they are trying to redefine mobile payments as a fast, merchant-agnostic functionality.
The idea being that Google+ is the heart of a user's Google ecosystem, and that a user can pay for goods both on the Internet and in the real world.
Why the potential is enormous
Given Google's existing ecosystem, the addition of a 2-clicks-to-pay functionality across all websites is significant.
It means that AdWords customers will be encouraged to integrate Wallet to increase conversions, and mobile ads could prove more valuable to advertisers - a positive reinforcement loop that feeds Google's advertising beast.
Users can also then share their purchases with friends on Google+, which bakes in an additional level of virality for Google alongside a desired feature for users.
Google will also glean much more data, allowing them to better target their advertising offerings across the rest of a user's Google ecosystem.
Quick traction likely
Similar to the way that the necessity for a verified payment system on eBay set up PayPal for success, the sheer number of Android devices entering the marketplace means that there is a steady stream of daily Google account sign-ups.
There over 1.2 million new signups every single day as each new Android user is required to have a Google account. Each account can then use their Google+ information to log in to Google Wallet and set up payments, both at in-person retailers via the MasterCard partnership, and online/mobile via the app.
Support for Android phones will be immediate, with definite plans to support iOS and other phones clearly delineated in the invite request process:
On the merchant side, Google promises simple implmentation for merchants, coming in at 2 weeks. Merchants also don't have to set up a different payment processor, and there are no additional fees. Google Wallet simply hooks into the existing payment processors.
One big hole for travel suppliers - especially airlines - will be the technological implementation of this new payment processing.
Google Wallet will process payments via a single use virtual credit card (MasterCard). Airlines will find seriously unhappy frequent flyers who book with a rewards Amex only to find out that they're loyalty perks disappear as their number was hidden by the Google Wallet technology.
This is a serious limitation for airlines catering to status-qualifying frequent fliers, in addition to other businesses that rely on credit card numbers to segment customers.
It's also unclear if Google is going to be taking a cut of these payments, or simply using this to grease the advertising wheels by making mobile advertising more conversion-rich for advertisers.
Nonetheless, the companies controlling the payments made via mobile phones are going to effectively control a signifcant chunk of the retail market, especially as consumers become comfortable with storing credit card details as a means to gain more efficient check out processes.
Beyond in-stream transaction processing, the true holy grail of mobile payments is ownership of both e-commerce and real world commerce transactions - or the ability to pay with your phone anywhere, both online and off.
Google Wallet was launched with that concept in mind, and this latest iteration could very well prove to be the secret payment sauce that Google has been trying perfect.
The Google Wallet team, Michael Galpin and Prakash Hariramani are scheduled to take the stage at the conference at 1:55pm today, alongside Priceline's Jonathan Taylor, to speak about their solution to the mobile payments sector.