released last week an extension for its Chrome browser that makes on-the-go payment for Android smartphone users possible.It might not be long before those little signs on storefront windows read "We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discovery and Google Checkout." Google
The technology relies on several factors, the least of which being that the customer both has a Google Checkout account and is using an Android phone, but offers another example of how we will soon be leaving even the credit card behind to pay with our smartphones.
Google's technology requires a little forethought from the merchant, but seems simple and safe in its execution. The merchant has to set up a Google Checkout merchant account, populate the store with merchandise and then install the Android Payment Chrome Extension. From there, when a customer wants to buy something, the merchant creates a shopping cart with those items on their computer. The extension will then create a QR code, which when scanned with the phone will take the customer to Google Checkout page where they can complete the transaction.
The primary benefit of this approach is that it doesn't have the same security concerns that have delayed the launch of mobile credit card based payment system Square. The actual act of payment, with Google's solution, does not require the swiping of a credit card and keeps the act of payment solely in the hands of the customer.
While Google's solution is also platform and browser dependent, it shows how mobile payment can really work for both the merchant and the consumer while keeping security risks to a minimum. It seems that the space is ripe for a company like Google or PayPal to jump in and offer a similar solution that could work across multiple browsers and phone operating systems.