Back before the world had ever even heard of Google Wallet, we were talking about the possibilities for Google introducing an NFC-based mobile payment system built around Google Checkout. After all, as Google’s in-house payment system, it seemed only natural that NFC payments would evolve as an offshoot of that project. When it came time for Google to finally announce things, though, we learned about Wallet and how it would work separately from Checkout. Now that Wallet has had some time to mature, and with more retailers than ever accepting it, Google is revisiting the Checkout/Wallet relationship and moving to integrate Checkout into Wallet, finally merging the two after all this time.
If you’ve been making online payments using Google Checkout, you’ll notice the next time you go to do so that you’ll be prompted to convert your account to Google Wallet. It looks like a relatively painless process, and your transaction history will be maintained. Google’s going to slowly work with retailers who have been accepting Google Checkout payments to update their systems with new Google Wallet branding, but you’ll be able to start using Wallet to make payments straight away just enter in your Wallet credentials as if you were a Checkout user.
The next step for Google will be getting Wallet set up as a payment method for use with the likes of the Android Market and other Google offerings.