Droid Life reports today that Google has added pushed location-based offers to its search app for Jelly Bean users running Android 4.1 or later. The feature reminds users of their saved offers when they’re within a certain proximity of places where they can be redeemed, giving advertisers an additional chance to connect with would-be customers.
While this seems like a modest feature, I think it’s long overdue. With Google Wallet, the company seems to have focused on high-tech technology (NFC) and the novelty of using a phone to conduct transactions at the point of sale. This latest feature, on the other hand, gives both consumers and retailers a reason to pursue the concept of a mobile wallet.
As my colleague Erica Ogg wrote yesterday, location-based reminders have been a big reason Apple has seen some traction with its Passbook offering. Google — and everybody else trying to make money in mobile payments — should increasingly focus on providing value to the mobile wallet rather than simply providing an alternative to credit cards and cash.