May 26th, 2011 marked the start of a new venture for Google. Actually, today;s announcement was about the merger of two new Google ventures – Google Wallet and Google Offers. The search engine giant is now poised to become a major player in the mobile payments arena, with the added value of combining a mobile payments platform with easy and instant coupon redemption.
Googles new Near Field Communication (NFC) platform will combine the ease of mobile payment with the discount benefits of electronic coupons. The concept works like this – make a purchase at any participating retailer and you will have any available discounts applied to your purchase immediately – no coupons to clip and no cash or cards to carry. I suspect that this new venture will give PayPal and new upstart clearXchange a real run for the money – pun intended!
There are a growing number of successful mobile and on-line payments providers already: Visa Digital Wallet, Square, Isis and PayPal (as well as others) and there is already much discussion about the adoption rate of Google Wallet versus these more experienced and mature players. I myself have used PayPal for a few years, mostly as a way to avoid giving up credit card information on-line. However even with PayPal I use a credit card with a very low limit as a way to protect myself and my card provider from the reality of on-line hacking. In my humble opinion no company will every be able to guarantee 100% security – not even the behemoth Google.
I am looking forward to a successful pilot of Google Wallet in New York City, San Francisco and Portland. Following the pilot I fully expect Google Wallet to roll out very quickly in every developed country in the world. I know that I will be carrying it in my pocket! Participate in the BankTech poll and register your thoughts.
Despite all the hype as well as what I believe will be a successful global deployment, I still don’t see Google or any other mobile / e-pyments provider(s) bringing about the ultimate demise of cash. That would require every single individual on the planet to possess the technology necessary to facilitate that individuals need for currency and for that currency to be recognized at every point requiring the need for currency.
Shortly after Google’s much media-hyped announcement, PayPal has filed a lawsuit against Google and two ex-staffers, accusing them of “misappropriating” m-payment-related trade secrets.
Google Wallet for Business