It’s been a decidedly weird time for digital payment services. Services like Google Wallet and Apple Pay may have turned on consumers to the idea of tapping their phone to pay, but there’s still so much refinement to do before paying for things without your wallet handy truly second nature.
That’s why Google is pulling back the reigns a bit on Google Wallet. The company quietly announced this week on its support page that it’s retiring Google Wallet for digital goods, which basically means you can’t use it to pay for apps and software after March 2, 2015.
“When we first launched Google Wallet for digital goods, we wanted to make it simple for users and merchants to buy and sell online,” Google wrote on the official support page. “The industry has matured a lot since then, providing a number of alternative payment solutions to choose from.”
Google states that it won’t offer a replacement program for this portion of Google Wallet, and that buyers will simply face a 404 error if the merchant fails to comply. “We highly recommend removing your integration and migrating to another payment processing solution as soon as possible,” suggests Google.
Why this matters: It doesn’t—at least, not to you, the consumer. While it’ll certainly be annoying for small merchants who aren’t aware of how to update their online storefronts, it won’t affect your ability to buy anything as long as they switch over to another payment platform. You’ll also still be able to use Google Wallet to pay for physical products at the grocery store via NFC, and you’ll still be able to use it in the Google Play Store.
What so matters here is that Google wastes no time as rival services like Apple Pay and Softcard take the stage. It will cut off any dead weight, even if it leaves out a few of those people who relied on those services.