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TheStreet Open House

Google Wallet a Question for Small Merchants

Stock quotes in this article: GOOG, INTU, M, AEO, WAG, MA

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Even small businesses are invited to take part in Google (GOOG) Wallet, the mobile payments platform announced Thursday by the online search giant.

Google announced plans for a summer launch of the program, which allows consumers to pay for purchases with the tap of their Android phone at select merchants. It starts in New York and San Francisco and piggybacks on MasterCard (MA) PayPass, a tap program already in place at thousands of merchants.

Small businesses using card readers might benefit from the upcoming Google Wallet program, but have other options as well.

Small businesses can check out Google's pitch here.

But merchants touted as already being part of the programs -- from eye care shops in Cambridge, Mass., to a Gristede's grocery in New York -- denied knowledge of Google Wallet and said they couldn't take smartphone payments of any kind, and the partnerships Google are touting first are with large retailers, including Macy's (M), Subway, American Eagle Outfitters (AEO), Walgreens (WAG) and Bloomingdale's.

A Google spokesman said late Thursday that there will be small businesses involved this summer when Wallet rolls out, but they will number in the hundreds. He wouldn't release names or dates.

Impatient small businesses have other options. Several companies are targeting mobile payment systems specifically to small businesses, including Intuit's (INTU) GoPayment, Sage Mobile Payments and Square, founded in part by Jack Dorsey, the name behind Twitter.

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