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Google Offers is challenging Groupon, and other social networking-inspired coupon companies already competing online.

Google Offers will deliver discounts from local businesses to online customers, following in the footsteps rivals Groupon and LivingSocial. Uniquely, however, Google Offers will also tie into the company’s new Wallet mobile payment service. Once both systems are up and running, users can tap their NFC-enabled Android smartphones against specialized readers to redeem Google Offers coupons and buy items from participating merchants.

In an interview at the AllThingsD conference outside of L.A., Google chairman Eric Schmidt said Google Offers is the first platform to “integrate offers and payments on a phone.”

Google Offers is an important innovation for the search giant, as the market is already rife with online coupon companies and steadily embracing mobile payments. Combining the two could mean big profits for Google if its venture is successful.

Google has indicated a desire to jump into the daily offer market, underscored by its unsuccessful bid last year to buy Groupon for an unprecedented $5.3 billion. At the time, the Chicago-based company’s market share was through the roof at $25 billion, prompting it to spurn Google’s offer. (more)

Select your city on the new GOOGLE OFFERS

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Article by KENDRA SRIVASTAVA, Mobiledia | Read full article here