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Google Wallet gains partners following expansion to more phones


Google Wallet picked up a couple of new merchant partnerships last week following news that it will be available on the iPhone and a wider variety of Android phones that do not have embedded NFC chips.

New merchants announcing integrations with Google Wallet include Alaska Airlines and Valpak. Users with non-NFC Android phones or the iPhone can use Google Wallet to store their loyalty cards and offers, use their loyalty cards or redeem offers at checkout and send money.

“As the leader in local coupons, we are looking for additional convenient ways to get our savings offers into consumers hands to help them save even more in whatever way they want to use coupons (print, website, mobile app, wallets),” said Michael Vivio, president of Valpak parent company Cox Target Media, Largo, FL.

“We decided to be a Google Wallet Objects integration partner because it demonstrates Valpak’s undertaking to be at the forefront of mobile technology, and it allows our merchants’ offers to be used anywhere at any time,” he said.

“Valpak coupon offers being integrated into Google Wallet makes it even easier for consumers to use coupons and get savings on the go for restaurants, entertainment, automotive, health services, personal care and more.”

Save to Google
Valpak, which provides local print and digital coupons, has introduced a save to Google feature for desktop and mobile Web users of its site.

Users who visit the site from their desktop, smartphone or tablet browsers and to the local coupons section can click on the coupon they want and then scroll down to the button that says “Save offer to Google.”

The offer will be saved directly to a user’s Google account and can be redeemed in store using the Google Wallet app at checkout.

Valpak offers can be saved to Google Wallet.

Valpak’s coupons are integrated with several mobile wallets, including Windows Phone Wallet and Passbook.

Alaska Airlines has also integrated with Google Wallet to enable the airlines’ frequent fliers to enroll, access their accounts and track their miles from their smartphones.

Customers can store their Mileage Plan number in Google Wallet by scanning the card or typing in their account numbers.

“The biggest difference is that Google Wallet takes a cloud-based approach to pass distribution – adding a pass links the pass with your Google account,” said Brent Hieggelke, CMO at Urban Airship. “For example, you can add a pass from your PC or tablet, then when you’re out and about that pass is available on your mobile device.

“The pass is linked to anywhere you’re logged in with Google,” he said. “Apple Passbook requires a specific file to be delivered to the device, so there’s no durable linking between which passes are on which devices.

“Google’s account-based approach provides huge distribution and education opportunities for consumers.”

Mobile success
Alaska Airlines is also integrated with Passbook, enabling iPhone users to save their boarding pass to the app and have it automatically appear on their home screen on arrival at the airport. Any changes to seat assignments, gates and departure times are automatically updated on the electronic boarding pass.

These integrations point to the success that marketers are finding with mobile coupons.

“We are seeing a tremendous uptick in the use of mobile coupons in our native apps and on our partner wallet apps,” Mr. Vivio said.

“We have seen mobile traffic growth double every few months, implying more consumers are using their mobile devices to search for and redeem mobile coupons,” he said.

“In addition, with this latest integration, Valpak is the only local coupon provider this far along in the mobile commerce space.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York