Google Shows Off Its Groupon Killer, Launching Tomorrow

Google’s Eric Schmidt appeared on stage at the D Conference today to show off the company’s new mobile wallet and deals strategy that looks and acts a lot like Groupon.

Announced last week, the wallet will let Android smartphone users tap and pay for items at the register and redeem offers at dozens of retailers, using near field technology.

The wallet will be accompanied and funded by a deals network, much like Groupon, which provides discounts and a loyalty rewards program.

Google Wallet kicks off in New York and San Francisco at retailers such as Macy’s, Subway and The Container Store, and will expand nationwide this summer. Tomorrow, it’s announcing the launch of the company’s daily deals service in Portland, Oregon.

Google’s VP of Commerce Stephanie Tilenius joined Schmidt on stage to give the presentation. (BTW, she’s been named in a lawsuit filed by her former employer, PayPal).

Tilenius demonstrated how a consumer can purchase a $3 for $10 offer at Floyd’s coffee shop over the Internet, which is then stored in the Wallet.

Tilenius also showed off the wallet service, using something they’ve invented called the “single tap.”

In a demonstration, she tapped the phone against a tag on a store poster offering a 20 percent discount at American Eagle. Moments later she simulated buying a pair of jeans in the store. With a single tap at the register, it let her apply the discount and charge it to the credit card stored in the wallet.

All Things D’s Kara Swisher asked whether it will only be on Android.

Schmidt: “Initially.”

Tilenius elaborated: “This is an app that works on any phone, and there’s an NFC sticker that can be put on the back of the phone.”

Why is Google doing this?

Tilenius said, “This is the next version of mobile commerce…80 percent of commerce is done locally.”

It’s also for financial gain.

Google’s Wallet appears to be more of a means to an end. It won’t charge retailers, merchants or consumers to use it. Rather, it intends on making money from offers, just like Groupon.

Tilenius said, “We make money on the offers, we won’t charge for the payments.”


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