Google Checkout and QR codes may change the way you pay

Paying with your phone has long been a desire of shoppers and like many of our desires, Google might have the answer. A new extension released this week from Google makes it possible for shoppers to use their Android mobile phone to make a payment through Google Checkout.

The Android Payment Chrome Extension allows a shopkeeper to populate their storefront with items and send a shopping cart to the customer's Android powered phone with a QR code. QR codes are a special type of bar code that can be easily created on a computer and then scanned with a smartphone camera. From there, the customer completes the purchase using the credit card they have on file with Google Checkout.

This solution has several advantages over other current mobile payment options. When compared to the VISA iPhone case, this option is easier because consumers don't need a special case, participating bank and a merchant with a compatible reader. For merchants, this may be quicker to implement than mobile payments from Square, a provider that turns smartphones into credit card readers, which has run into issues with vetting the influx of merchants.

Still, this isn't the perfect solution. It leaves many millions of iPhone users out, even if they have a Google Checkout account. This solution also relies on a computer at the point of sale. which prohibits many mobile sellers from using it.

Google could kick things up a notch by bringing the entire Google Checkout ecosystem to retailers on mobile phones and as bar codes for one-use items. This way, a merchant could pull up a bar code on an Android phone and a customer could scan it with their iPhone to complete a payment. Better yet, Google could set it up so that your local coffee house could place a QR code on the coffee pot, the muffins or a combo QR code that lets you pay with your phone and slip in and out in the morning without waiting for the slowpokes that still carry cash.

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