Slideshow 11 of Google's Missteps and Milestones in Payments

Published
  • June 29 2012, 12:02pm EDT

(Image: ThinkStock)

In the Beginning

Google's first major play in payments was Google Checkout, launched in 2006. The online payment system's selling point was its price: merchants got $10 worth of free transactions for every dollar they spent on Google ads. (Image: ThinkStock)

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A New Approach

Google ended Checkout's pricing incentive in 2009. Enraged merchants immediately threatened to switch to rival services. Some even saw Google's move as an attempt to drive off users in anticipation of shutting down Checkout. (Image: Bloomberg News)

Second Wind

Google didn't shut down Checkout right away. It kept adding features to keep users happy, but observers remained convinced that Checkout's strength was the pricing incentive that Google killed off. "Google Checkout was successful as long as it was free," an analyst said. (Image: ThinkStock)

Wallet Opens Up

Without shuttering Checkout, Google launched Wallet in 2011 as a mobile payment system that uses phones equipped with Near Field Communication chips. It launched with one payment-capable phone, one carrier and one bank partner, Citi.

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Checkout Folds

Google didn't want to sustain two payment systems, so it absorbed Checkout into Wallet in late 2011. Wallet's adoption of Checkout's userbase gave the nascent payment system a much-needed boost. (Image: ThinkStock)

Carriers Push Back

Sprint cooperated with Google from the start, but Google did not receive as warm a welcome from the other carriers, which created a competing mobile wallet called Isis. Verizon Wireless in particular sought to block Google Wallet from going live on its network. (Image: ThinkStock)

Security Issues Strike

In February 2012, two major security issues were revealed in Google Wallet. One allowed access to the wallet with a specialized PIN-cracking app. The other allowed access to the Wallet's attached prepaid account by simply deleting the user's PIN. (Image: ThinkStock)

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Patching the Holes

After widespread publicity over Wallet's security issues, Google announced its purchase of TxVia, a prepaid card processor, which has technology to help manage risk. (Image: ThinkStock)

Offers Split Off

Google launched Offers, a mobile coupon and discount service, side-by-side with Google Wallet. Lately, however, Google has distanced the two products, tying Offers instead to the Maps application on Android phones. (Image: Bloomberg News)

Mobile Multiplication

As competition heated up with Microsoft's June announcement of its own NFC-based mobile wallet, Google Wallet was already available on at least four Android smartphones in the U.S. (Image: Bloomberg News)

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Sprint Strays?

Google's longtime partner, Sprint, may be working on its own mobile wallet, called 'Touch.' (Image: ThinkStock)