Google Wallet Launches Support for Subscriptions

Google Wallet launched support for recurring subscription payments and has begun automatically assigning the lower of two fees for processing payments, Pali Baht, Google Wallet product manager for digital goods said at the I/O conference on Wednesday.

Baht said support for subscriptions had been the single most asked-for feature for the digital wallet app. The feature will allow developers to support users in buying in-game currencies or access to online content.

When used through the Web, Google Wallet has up till now charged vendors a 5 percent fee on all charges to process payments. But it changed on Wednesday afternoon to a 5 percent fee, which favors for small transactions, or a 1.9 percent rate plus 30 cents, which is more favorable for larger transactions. Google will eliminate the need for the vendor to choose between the rates by automatically assigning the lower of the two rates for every transaction. The decision-making process factors in currency exchange rates for transactions in currencies other than U.S. dollars.

The changes initially apply only to digital goods and purchases through the Web, not to real goods or sales made using the mobile app that relies on an NFC (near-field communication) sensor and stores the payment information locally rather than on the cloud.

Robin Dua, Wallet's head of product management for consumer payments, said Google doesn't make money on purchases made through the mobile app.

Cameron Scott covers search, web services and privacy for The IDG News Service. Follow Cameron on Twitter at CScott_IDG.

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