Google Wallet: Working with Visa, American Express

In May we announced Google Wallet—an app that makes your phone your wallet—with Citi, MasterCard, Sprint and First Data. With Google Wallet, you can tap, pay and save using your phone and near field communication (NFC).

We’ve been testing it extensively, and today we’re releasing the first version of the app to Sprint. That means we’re beginning to roll out Google Wallet to all Sprint Nexus S 4G phones through an over-the-air update—just look for the “Wallet” app. Here’s a demo of Google Wallet in action:

Google Wallet enables you to pay with your Citi MasterCard credit card and the Google Prepaid Card, which can be funded with any of your existing plastic credit cards. As a thanks to early adopters, we’re adding a $10 free bonus to the Google Prepaid Card if you set it up in Google Wallet before the end of the year.

When we announced Google Wallet, we pledged a commitment to an open commerce ecosystem. We appreciate Citi and MasterCard for being our launch partners. And today, Visa, Discover and American Express have made available their NFC specifications that could enable their cards to be added to future versions of Google Wallet.

Our goal is to make it possible for you to add all of your payment cards to Google Wallet, so you can say goodbye to even the biggest traditional wallets. In fact, we’ve got a video of our first customer, someone who is ready to replace his famously over-stuffed wallet. We hope Google Wallet gives him “serenity now.”

This is still just the beginning and while we’re excited about this first step, we look forward to bringing Google Wallet to more phones in the future. You can learn more about Google Wallet at

Google Plus: Monetizing games

Kabam was part of the initial launch of Google+ Games with two game titles, Dragons of Atlantis and Edgeworld, and we recently added Global Warfare. For these games, we integrated Google In-App Payments and we’re pleased with our games’ monetization to date. There are a couple things we learned along the way that we’re happy to share with the community.

Integrating In-App Payments

Integrating In-App Payments in our games was very simple, especially when compared to other payment platforms. There is excellent documentation available, complete with examples for each step of the purchase flow. We also used open-source libraries such as ruby-jwt to generate the tokens required for each purchase option.

We designed our games and purchase pages around the expectation of instant feedback, making sure to incorporate page loads or refreshes wherever possible. For example, in Edgeworld, a player attacking an enemy base can load the list of Platinum options instantly, without waiting for the list of payment options to load. After their Platinum purchase, the player is immediately brought back to the game, with their new currency and items waiting for them.

Pro tip: strive to reduce purchaser friction

One of the keys to maximizing revenue is to remove as much friction as possible from the purchase flow, making sure as many people as possible get from one step of the flow to the next. Many payment platforms send players to their own website and multi-page checkout flow. The Google In-App Payments approach allows us to keep players on our game page for the entire flow, making sure we can manage more of the process and reduce abandonment.

Additionally, the player’s credit card information is stored securely, so once a player has made a purchase anywhere using In-App Payments, their information is available for future purchases without additional data entry. Finally, JavaScript callbacks provided by In-App Payments allow us to show the effects of the purchase immediately, improving customer satisfaction.

New Google Shopper 1.5 for iPhone

We’ve recently made a few new changes to Google Shopper for iPhone that makes it easy to find nearby deals when you’re on-the-go.

In the latest version of Google Shopper, in addition to the ‘Shop’ tab, you’ll now see two new tabs at the bottom of the app: Offers and My Offers. The Offers tab displays a list, or map view, of nearby offers which businesses have submitted through Google Places – from restaurant and movie theater deals to discounts on tennis lessons or a round of golf.

Let’s say you come across an offer for free dessert at a nearby restaurant, but you won’t have time to use it until the weekend. You can save the offer for future use, then later view and redeem it from the My Offers tab.

Additionally, if Google Offers are available in your city, you’ll be able to view and redeem your purchased offers on the My Offers tab. Google Offers are currently available in Portland, Oregon, the San Francisco Bay Area and New York, with other cities to follow.
Google Shopper 1.5 is currently available for iPhone users in the US and UK with iOS 4.0 and higher. If you’re a current Google Shopper user, you’ll automatically receive an update. Download Google Shopper 1.5 by visiting the App Store. To download Google Shopper for Android, visit Android Market.