Google Wallet is closing shop on digital goods

Just as Apple is spreading its wings into the online and mobile payments markets, Google seems to backing away from it. Google has posted notice on the Wallet developer site that it is shutting down the API powering digital goods purchase on web and mobile internet sites.

Don’t worry: [company]Google[/company] Wallet is here to stay. You can still make in-store purchases, and you can use your Wallet credentials to buy apps, content and goods from Google Play as well as make in-app purchases in Android apps. But the third-party payment processing feature that allows online merchants to let you buy their wares with your Google Wallet will disappear on March 2.

Google said it won’t be offering a payment alternative to developers who use Wallet to handle transactions, so it’s advising its mobile and online merchants to find a payment processor alternative if they don’t already have one.

Though Wallet certainly hasn’t been the runaway hit Google had hoped it would be, it’s puzzling that it would discontinue one of its features now. [company]Apple[/company] has reinvigorated the mobile payment payments space, and Google Wallet has only benefited. While most of the attention on Apple Pay is on in-store transactions, Apple is also making its wallet a currency for in-app payments. That’s not quite the same as Google’s digital goods feature, but it shows that digital billfolds are starting to make inroads in digital commerce.