If we were still living in last year, we wold be expecting Google’s in-app payments system to be up and running by Q4 2010. But it isn’t last year, and we are well aware the feature (anticipated mostly by developers for its means of monetization) has been delayed until sometime during Q1 of 2011. It looks like Google might miss that mark slightly, but a new email being sent out by Social Gold, the company big G acquired to handle the mobile payments system, to developers using their platform is stating that May 2011 will see the debut of Google’s own in-app payment product.
That’s good news for most, but not so good news for developers currently using Social Gold, which will cease collecting money on their behalf in conjunction with the launch of Google’s payments system. Google’s version will be slightly more limited at launch than Social Gold currently is. Here is the full email:
Thank you for your use of the Jambool Social Gold platform. As you know, Jambool was acquired by Google last August. This acquisition meant that some changes to our business were inevitable, and we’d like to share them with you today.
First, the existing Jambool Social Gold product will be discontinued in favor of a new Google in-app payment product in May 2011. Rest assured that you will be able to sign in to the Jambool merchant console through September 2011, and you will receive year-end financial statements in February 2012.
Second, we’d like to invite you to participate in the pre-release beta of the Google in-app payment system. This system will enable developers to accept payments within an app, but it will not have the full functionality of Social Gold at launch. We understand that this will not meet the needs of all developers currently using Social Gold, but we highly encourage interested developers to join the Google
in-app payments beta by submitting your information at http://google.com/checkout/inapp.
Again, we thank you for your flexibility during this transition period. Please feel free to respond to this email with any questions about your Jambool account or the new Google in-app payment product.
The Jambool Team
So there you have it. It won’t be much longer until you can purchase your own dragon-sleep-inducing potions directly within the confines of your apps. Or, if you are a developer, start making money off the sale of dragon-sleep-inducing potions directly within the confines of your apps.
[Update]: A bit of a mix-up, it seems. The original story was actually referring to web-based in-app payments, not the Android market-based system that’s still set to launch sometime soon. Here’s an excerpt courtesy of TechCrunch:
We are hard at work developing a web-based, in-app payments solution that combines the simplicity of the Jambool API with the power of the Google Checkout and Google accounts infrastructure. We’re very excited about the ease of use of the new system, with features such as one-click purchasing.
While this work is underway, we made the difficult decision to close new signups to the Social Gold platform today and will discontinue all payment processing on May 31, 2011. Existing developers will be able to continue processing payments through Social Gold until the end of May and log in to the Social Gold merchant console through September.
The Google in-app payments system will enable developers to easily accept payments within an app. This is the first version, and we will focus our investment in this API moving forward. Developers should expect the same innovation, and more, from us on this new platform.