There are several models for making travel booking easier on mobile devices, and Google Wallet is certainly gaining ground. The problem may be, though, that it makes Google even more powerful in the process.
Hotels, airlines, car rental companies, tours and activities providers, online travel agencies, and travel-metasearch players are all trying to figure out how best to avoid losing their users on mobile to competitors since it can be so difficult to book a transaction on a small-screen device.
Best Western has joined the ranks of more than a dozen travel companies, including Booking.com, Priceline.com, Oribtz, Hipmunk, Travelocity Kayak, Airbnb, Hilton Hotels and others, that are using Google Wallet as an option for mobile bookings.
Google Wallet stores users’ credit card information, and Best Western says its customers can complete a purchase “in as few as two clicks.”
With Google Wallet, Best Western hopes to make mobile booking much easier for customers, and Google gets valuable data on transactions for advertising purposes.
Booking.com and Priceline.com enable mobile users of Google Hotel Finder to book rooms either through Google Wallet or by navigating over to the online travel agency website.
“We were actually a very early adopter of Google Wallet for Android, launching early last year,” says Priceline Group spokesperson Leslie Cafferty. “Across all of the Priceline Group brands, a seamless mobile experience is core to our product strategy, and this includes frictionless payments. We’ve seen positive user reaction to Google Wallet, although we don’t break out specific figures.”
Best Western plans to integrate Google Wallet on the Android version of its moble app and on its mobile website.
Google Wallet is Best Western’s latest Google integration. It also uses Google Street View to enable users to browse 360-degree images of properties.
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Photo credit: Best Western is trying to ease the pain of booking though its Android app and on its mobile website by integrating Google Wallet. Picutred, is the Best Western hotel on the Nanaimo waterfront in Vancouver. Doug Hay / Flickr