Google Offers, a Groupon-like local deals service, goes live on Wednesday. The beta service will initially be offered in Portland, Oregon, and will expand to New York and San Francisco later this summer.
Google will integrate Offers with the newly announced Google Wallet, a "single tap" payment system for smartphones equipped with NFC technology, which Google also plans to roll out in the coming months.
Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and VP of Commerce Stephanie Tilenius walked onlookers through the simplicity of the service during Tuesday's D9 conference in Palos Verdes, California. According to the demonstration, a user has only to select a desired coupon online to save the deal via his phone's Google Wallet, which can access the coupon once the user has tapped the device at the point of sale.
For example, Google is currently offering a $3 deal worth $10 of merchandise at Floyd's Coffee Shop in Portland. Rather than print a coupon to present to the merchant, a Google Wallet customer would store the deal on his Google Wallet and use his phone at Floyd's compatible NFC register to redeem the offer.
Tilenius said that Google will charge a listing fee comparable to the cut that other coupon services take. However, Google won't charge a fee for the transaction between customer and merchant or for the app that enables the transaction.
Though Google Offers is currently limited to select retailers in Portland, Google says it will announce "thousands of partners" in the future and hopes to expand Offers beyond the Android platform.
Late last year, Google was rumored to be negotiating a $5 to 6 billon acquisition of Groupon, but negotiations reportedly broke down in December.
You can check out our slideshow to find out more about the upcoming Google Wallet and its features, and you can subscribe to Google Offers to receive notifications when the service becomes available in your area.
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