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Yes, Google Wallet Shut Down One Service. No, It's Not a Big Deal.

The main platform for which the product was created no longer exists.

Reuters / Brendan McDermid
Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

Google quietly announced yesterday that it would be discontinuing a service that allowed some Web developers to sell digital goods on websites using Google’s Wallet payment service. Because Google is Google, the announcement got a lot of press coverage. But a lot of that coverage was confusing or misleading. Hopefully the following clears things up.

Google introduced this product in 2012 to allow developers to accept payments through Google Wallet for digital goods they sold on websites. The YouTube video from 2012 that introduced the service — which Google was in the process of taking down today — showed one use case only: Using the service to let consumers make purchases within games on Google+. What, you’ve never heard of Google+ Games? Probably because Google shut it down a year ago. So a year after this Google Wallet API was introduced, the platform for which it was largely created didn’t exist.

It’s a safe bet that in the year since then, Google didn’t see many Web developers taking up the service. So it cut the cord.

Google has a variety of more important payment products that are unaffected by this change. People can still pay with Google Wallet to purchase physical or digital goods in apps. People can still pay with Google Wallet to purchase physical goods or services on websites. And people can still use Google Wallet to pay for goods and services in physical stores that accept NFC payments.

One more time: Developers who want to sell digital goods on websites using Google Wallet are out of luck. Developers or companies that want to use Google payment products for any other existing scenario won’t see anything change.

This article originally appeared on

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