Braintree, Google Wallet: The Future of Mobile and Online Payments

Shopping is going mobile. Eventually. As Google Wallet and Braintree take aim, our Ant Pruitt analyzes the space.

Mobile payments and online shopping are already changing hw people shop.

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Online shopping giant, Amazoncreated a whole new shopping model back in the 1990s. Now it’s a state of mind. It’s a state of mind.  Shoppers can look over and even test an item in a brick-and-mortar store and then search for the cheapest price on Amazon.  If savvy shoppers see the item isn’t available when they arrive at the retailer, they can immediately order it online.

So let’s say you go in looking for a deeply discounted computer system at the store, but someone just purchased the last unit.  You want this computer because of its great price, but it’s a hassle driving around.  What do you do?  You can check another location close by.  You can call it a day and go home.  Me, I grab my smartphone, fire up the applicable app, browse for the system I’m looking for, order it in two or three clicks and select rush delivery.  All done at the same promotional price, while supplies last.

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Such scenarios are wins for online merchants and online payment merchants.  The Amazons, NewEggs and eBays of the world go hand-in-hand with online payment providers such as Google Wallet, PayPal and Venmo.

I previously reviewed Venmo, the online payment provider that competes with PayPal, minus the extraneous fees. Venmo’s great features were noticed. It was recently purchased by Braintree, an online payment giant that has partnered with several merchants to handle online credit card payments.

Braintree’s success shows that online and mobile payments will be the preferred choice of consumers in the future.  Sure, shopping at a store is an experience in itself, but consumers want convenience most of all.  It’s convenient to swipe a credit card at the register, to wave a badge at a fuel pump, it’s even easier to pay for a purchase–while sitting on your favorite recliner.  This may be why four of five smartphones users access mobile retail sites on their devices.

Presently Google’s mobile and online payment option, Google Wallet, hasn’t had the success it anticipated.  NFC chips aren’t in all smartphones, so the wanding motion cannot be used to pay for merchandise at a store.  As for online payments, not all stores accept Google Wallet currently.

Braintree is gearing up to take mobile and online payments to the next level.  It snagged Rovio of Angry Birds fame as a customer.  Braintree also hired former Head of Value Added Service Partnerships for Google Wallet, Aunkur Arya, a move CEO Bill Ready mentioned on the company’s blog.

Two big moves by Braintree in a short span. What’s next for cashless payments? How will merchants respond as mobile and online payments increase?  Everyone isn’t Amazon, but getting the online infrastructure ready for an onslaught of online consumers just may be in the future.

I’m Ant Pruitt and this is


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