Phones

Google Wallet Now Takes Coupons

Google Monday unveiled an expanded Google Wallet that adds coupon redemption and other features to its mobile payments capabilities.

Google said several retailers at select locations will let Google Wallet users make mobile payments, redeem coupons and earn rewards points with a single tap of an NFC-ready Nexus S phone.

The new capability is called SingleTap.

Google launched its Google Wallet app on Sprint's Nexus S 4G smartphone on September 19.

At the time, Google heard criticism that Google Wallet was launched for just one NFC-ready smartphone and that the Nexus S 4G may not complete mobile payments at every retail outlet listed on Google's Web site. (See also "Beyond Google Wallet: A Look at the Competition.")

Google said the the new coupon redemption capability occurs with the same tap made for a mobile payment. Therefore, a user could walk into a store and pay for merchandise and at the same time redeem coupons without the need to find them or a rewards card.

The retailers making Google Wallet offers today are offering 15 percent off purchases at American Eagle Outfitters merchandise, 10 percent off The Container Store products, 15 percent off at Macy's stores and a $2 all-fruit smoothie at Jamba Juice.

These savings are reflected in the Offers tab in Google Wallet, that has been updated with "feature offers."

Foot Locker, Guess, OfficeMax, and Eagle Outfitters are now providing loyalty cards through Google Wallet.

Google said the updated Google Wallet app also provides real-time transaction information for the Google Prepaid Card. The information includes a merchant's name and location and the dollar value and time of each transaction.

Google said Chevron, D'Agostino, Faber News Now, Gristedes Supermarkets and Pinkberry are now working to provide terminals to recognize Google Wallet.

Spencer Spinnell, director of emerging markets for Google, said in the blog announcing the enhancements that it is "still early days for Google Wallet" but called today's steps important.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen , or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

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