Google Wallet new requestAutocomplete API

Google WalletAt the Google I/O developer conference, Google have announced two new pushes to try and drive adoption and use of Google Wallet.

Google Wallet Instant Buy Android API

Last October Google launched a Google Wallet API to speed up payments on mobile sites. Now, (US developers) can sign up for the new Google Wallet Instant Buy Android API, providing checkout in Android apps in as few as 2 clicks without manually entering billing or shipping information. The real news here is that it’s designed for physical goods purchases, not simply for virtual goods or in-app game upgrades.

Google have launched with a number of partners – Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia, Fancy, GoPago live POS, NFC Task Launcher, Priceline, Rue La La, Tabbedout, Uber and Wrapp, although we’re unlikely to see this in the UK any time soon.

Google claim mobile checkout abandonment is as high as 97%. They also claim it takes 21 steps to complete checkout (including completing address twice fields for billing and shipping, which normally you’d only do once and check ship to billing address so in reality it’s not quite that bad). They’re touting Google Wallet 2 click checkout as the solution.

Storing Payment Details In Chrome

You may have noticed that if you’re signed into Google then the Chrome browser remembers certain information such as web pages you’ve visited. It’s not really remembering them, Chrome saves them in the cloud so that any computer you sign into Chrome has your history.

Now Google have added a new requestAutocomplete API call which can remember all of your payment details and auto-populate webforms. Google say this will reduce checkout from 21 pieces of data to enter to just three for Google Wallet users.

Google describe it as an “aspiring web standard that will allow users to bypass pages of form fields with an imperative API for requesting details the browser knows”. In other words it’ll work in Chrome if the website supports the API calls and Google have made it an open standard hoping other browsers will implement the same technology.

As well as storing payment details in Chrome, Google would like us to remind you that you can add a Google Wallet button on websites (and mobile sites) to enable quick payments without the constant need to type in your address details.

Will Google Wallet catch on?

Whilst it’s understandable Google want to push Wallet, it’s of little comfort to users in the UK who can’t even apply for Google Wallet Instant Buy. Unless you’re based in the US (and even if you are!), you’re probably still better off sticking with PayPal.