What's in your wallet? Google hopes its Offers
Today is the day that Google will begin testing their Offers service, which is basically them muscling in on the craze for Groupon at the moment.
Google Offers will works in conjunction with the Wallet mobile payment platform for Android phones and will kick off with some localised testing before rolling out. If it works out that is.
"There is no intent to favour one (smartphone) platform," Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt said while introducing Offers at an All Things Digital conference at a resort in the southern California town of Rancho Palos Verdes.
Stephanie Telenius, another Google exec, adds: "Tap, pay and save. This is new; there is no one doing this exact thing. We are integrating at the point of sale."
It is little wonder that Google are keen to get in on the coupon service and merge it with its many platforms. Groupon bagged 50 million subscribers at the start of 2011 and it has been reported that the group rejected a $5 billion takeover offer from Google.
Google Offers is a free app that effectively turns a smartphone into an electronic wallet and looks likely to be rolled out in the coming months. Alongside Google Wallet, it will use an NFC chip which allows consumers who have entered their card details to "tap-and-pay" for purchases at a checkout register equipped with a supporting system.
Could this be the end of using cards in a shop?