Google is trying to tackle the mobile-commerce payments problem by getting more merchants to use its two-tap Instant Buy system. The Android maker has picked up 200,000 more online stores to support Google Wallet through a partnership with payment processor WePay and mobile invoicing and payments platform InvoiceASAP, VentureBeat reported.
Google originally approached InvoiceASAP in order to make Google Wallet available to InvoiceASAP’s 200,000 small and medium-size business customers. That required integrating WePay, which provides processing for InvoiceASAP. The result is that WePay, which also powers marketplaces and donation platforms like GoFundMe, is now integrated into Google Wallet’s Instant Buy API, which lets users check out with only two clicks on PCs and mobile devices, and without exposing sensitive information to third parties.
U.S. pizza chain Papa John’s also added Instant Buy as a payment option in December.
While Google Wallet’s two-click purchases have been available since April 2013, the new effort is clearly aimed at mobile, where the problem of getting users to complete purchases and make payments still hasn’t been solved. WePay estimates that only around 20 percent of transactions today are completed on mobile devices, despite the fact that, by WePay’s estimates, some 70 percent of WePay customers have initially opened invoices on their mobile devices. “It’s because the experience sucks,” WePay co-founder Richard Aberman told TechCrunch.
Google is also likely trying to remain at least in the same ballpark as the online payment experience that Apple has rolled out with Apple Pay, which the iPhone maker is trying to position as competition to the still-dominant PayPal. On many e-commerce sites, PayPal appears alongside Visa and MasterCard as a payment option.
At the same time, Google appears to be making another run at in-store mobile payments. Earlier this month, reports surfaced that Google is negotiating to acquire Softcard, the mobile-payments system launched by mobile operators Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile in 2010. All three of Softcard’s backers blocked customers from installing Google Wallet on their smartphones when Google launched its own payments system in 2011.