updated 10:40 pm EST, Wed November 16, 2011
Google Checkout merges with Wallet
In a lower-key move next to its Google Music store launch, Google said it was rolling Google Checkout into Google Wallet. The switch makes the system that handles NFC-based mobile payments the same that handles regular web sales. Android Market, Google+ games, and YouTube movie rentals will all use Wallet, while a Wallet sign-in will work at any third-party store that takes either the new format or Checkout.
The transition should be near-automatic for both sides. Stores can keep using Checkout until at least 2012. Shoppers can automatically switch over with their next purchase and use the Wallet page to control their information.
As of Thursday, those who add a Citi MasterCard to Wallet for paying with their Nexus S 4G phone can use that same card for regular sales on the web.
A switch to Wallet both drops Checkout's older and at times complicated system and also creates an increasingly unified purchasing system closer to one like Apple ID, where one basic login covers everything in an online commerce and media ecosystem.