Google announced revisions to its mobile wallet that make it a more palatable choice for the sale of digital goods.
One of Google's additions, a recurring billing option, echoes a change Facebook made to its digital payment system this month. Facebook's payments revenue comes primarily from the sale of digital items within the games and apps that run on its social media site, and its updates give merchants more flexibility in how they set prices.
Google is also updating its fee structure to better handle the sale of such digital goods.
Under Google's new pricing structure for digital goods, sellers of digital items pay 5% per transactions for low-cost items. Google charges 1.9% in addition to a fixed fee of 30 cents for higher-priced purchases. "The most favorable pricing is automatically applied," Google says on its website.
The online component of Google Wallet used to be Google Checkout, which launched in 2006 and was absorbed into Wallet late last year. Checkout originally offered some free transactions to merchants that also bought advertising through Google, though Google ended that incentive in 2009.
Checkout's pricing at that time was based on a merchant's monthly sales volume. Merchants with volumes above $100,000 got Google's lowest price: 1.9% plus a 30-cent base fee. At lower volumes the percentage rose, with merchants paying 2.9% for each transaction if their monthly volume stayed below $3,000.
Under the new pricing structure, "if you are selling digital goods, games or services online, you can easily implement Google Wallet to accept payments," Google says in a promotional video. "With the option to offer recurring subscriptions, it's easy for any size business or developer to start growing revenue fast."
Google made the announcement during its I/O developer conference in San Francisco.