Google Wallet, a tap and pay mechanism for smartphones, has been in testing for a while but rumours are circulating on Twitter that the official launch date may be September 19th.

At present, Google Wallet only works on the Nexus Android smartphone which is only available in the USA, but if Google wish to corner the pay-by-phone mobile commerce market, then it is likely that it will soon be available across more Android models. Mastercard are involved in the Google Wallet project and so the endeavour is likely to seek global adoption.

What does this mean for businesses? If you have been focusing more on social media than what is happening with mobile marketing, it may be time to begin to look at the opportunities which mobile marketing presents, and more importantly, what is up and coming with M-Commerce.

Whilst many retail locations have got in on the Foursquare and Gowalla geolocation marketing, there is still a level of trepidation and uncertainty surrounding more direct mobile marketing. Obviously, the major concern is that it could be all too easy to slip up and be accused of spamming mobile users and/or targeting the wrong market by not fully understanding the process.

However, understanding mobile marketing is one thing, but grasping how to best engage with your potential customers once you have attracted them to your shop or website is of at least equal importance. Whether it is making it simple to add products to a shopping list using a mobile app barcode scanner, or making it really easy to pay using a smartphone, e.g. by incorporating a Google Wallet type idea into the shopping experience, generating sales has to be on the radar!

Although it will take time for smartphone payment apps and M-Commerce to reach mass market, the probably imminent launch of Google Wallet means that you should start looking at how this will affect your business, and how you can maximise sales potential from mobile marketing and payments by keeping an eye on forthcoming product launches such as Google Wallet and other M-Commerce solutions.

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About the author:

A practising internet marketing consultant since 1996, Lindsey Annison helps companies improve their website marketing, online PR and information architecture. Lindsey is also a qualified adult education lecturer and author. As co-founder of the Access to Broadband Campaign, she has been instrumental in the provision of high-speed internet access to rural areas in the UK. Lindsey is also a past winner of Silicon.com's Outstanding Contribution to UK Technology