Google retires Wallet payment processing for digital goods

Developers who relied on Google Wallet to process payments for digital goods will need to find a new provider by early next year.

Google is pulling the plug on a part of Google Wallet that helped developers sell digital goods such as online games and services.

Anyone using Google Wallet to accept payments for digital goods on their website will soon need to find a new payments processor after Google flagged the retirement of that service in a support page update on Thursday.

The move doesn't affect other digital goods being sold through Android apps on the Google Play Store and it is also still supporting in-app payments through Google Wallet.

It's unclear exactly why Google decided to kill off the service for digital goods on the web alone, but it points out that online payments industry has "matured a lot" since it launched the digital good service in 2012. So there are alternatives — for example Stripe and PayPal — and Google recommends developers do their homework before finding the right one.

The Wallet service offered merchants an easier way to reach Google Wallet users and, for its payments processing service, charged them five percent, or 1.9 percent plus 30 cents, per transaction.

Developers that relied on the Wallet service for payment processing will need to have found a replacement by March 2, 2015 — the date Google will close it down. Specifically, they'll need to remove client- and server-side integration code that make calls to its Google's Wallet APIs.

Google says it will not notify end-users of the change. However, after that date, any Wallet users who attempt to buy a digital good on a website will simply get a 404 error message upon checking out.

The same applies to magazines or services that rely on Wallet to support recurring subscriptions. "After this date, buyers will no longer be charged for their subscriptions. We strongly encourage you to find a new recurring billing or subscriptions solution to continue to accept payments from your users," Google said.

"After a new integration is in place, we suggest that you notify subscribers to re-subscribe through your new payment processor for continued subscription access," it added.

Read more on Google Wallet