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Google to kill Wallet API for digital products from March 2015
While Japan and a few other countries in Asia make extensive use of NFC-based payment systems, the world-at-large has yet to really catch on. Apple has certainly given the United States a major kick in the pants with its Apple Pay system, and as such Google also stands to benefit, especially since Android phones have had NFC since the Nexus S released so many years ago.
Despite this new era of mobile payments, in a rather unusual move, Google has announced that its Google Wallet API system will no longer work with digital purchases. Merchants using Google Wallet have until March 2, 2015 to get their systems in order as the API will then be terminated. Citing a different landscape with many new options that emerged since the launch of the e-payment system, Google then follows up by indicating that no replacement will be offered.
To be clear, Google is only retiring the API that lets third-party companies use Wallet for digital purchases, such as movies or songs. There’s no indication yet that Google is considering further scaling down its payment service. Importantly, Google Wallet will remain the payment system used on the Play Store, for everything from apps to books, as well as devices.
While many people have never used Google Wallet for online purchases (Play Store aside), those that have will no doubt be upset by its termination. In some ways, this has parallels to the recent past, when Mountain View ended its Google Reader service and was met with a heaping mass of angry users.