advertisement
advertisement
advertisement

Google Wallet Struggles With Being Open, But On Only One Platform: Its Own

Written by Evan Schuman
June 1st, 2011

When Google last week unveiled its Google Wallet near field communication (NFC) mobile-payment service, its executives repeatedly stressed how open it was. That’s an odd claim to make when a service is only available on one platform: its own.

To be fair, Google may have had little choice, with cooperation refusals from Apple and Research In Motion’s BlackBerry group pretty much forcing Google to go it alone. That doesn’t make the mobile-payment fragmentation any less serious, though. If Apple, PayPal and others opt for their own approaches, which seems inevitable, the fragmentation will make it even harder for consumers to embrace mobile payments and for any retailer to get enough traction for mobile to be profitable.

Indeed, the Google exec who handled much of the rollout—Google Payments VP Osama Bedier—used that event to lay out the case for why multi-platform support is so crucial. At the time, though, he was making the case for openness everywhere other than mobile platforms. Still, his argument works.

“We’re building an open-commerce ecosystem, and Google Wallet is built on top of that open platform. By the way, open is who we are at Google. It’s a deep part of our culture, a part of our history, and we know that open solutions add value for all players,” Bedier said. “Open systems drive competition and innovation. They deliver consumer choice and, most importantly, exponential growth.”

One CIO at a major apparel chain said he is finding these latest mobile moves quite frustrating. “The battleground is becoming pretty well defined—carriers versus banks versus Google versus Apple versus Who Knows—but the winner is less clear. Save for it not being the carriers. They’ve stepped up to their usual standards of excellence,” he said.

Forrester M-Commerce Analyst Sucharita Mulpuru said Google’s choice to roll out a single-platform offering is going to make adoption a lot more difficult. “This is such a non-starter on so many levels,” she said. “If a Droid phone was the only thing you ever needed to complete a transaction, that would be one thing. Alas, it’s not. And no one even asks why NFC has been so challenged, even in markets like Japan, where virtually all devices have NFC capabilities and DoCoMo is behind it. All these guys think they can go at it with payments alone. There’s a reason they call it a network. Good luck.”


advertisement

Comments are closed.

Newsletters

StorefrontBacktalk delivers the latest retail technology news & analysis. Join more than 60,000 retail IT leaders who subscribe to our free weekly email. Sign up today!
advertisement

Most Recent Comments

Why Did Gonzales Hackers Like European Cards So Much Better?

I am still unclear about the core point here-- why higher value of European cards. Supply and demand, yes, makes sense. But the fact that the cards were chip and pin (EMV) should make them less valuable because that demonstrably reduces the ability to use them fraudulently. Did the author mean that the chip and pin cards could be used in a country where EMV is not implemented--the US--and this mis-match make it easier to us them since the issuing banks may not have as robust anti-fraud controls as non-EMV banks because they assumed EMV would do the fraud prevention for them Read more...
Two possible reasons that I can think of and have seen in the past - 1) Cards issued by European banks when used online cross border don't usually support AVS checks. So, when a European card is used with a billing address that's in the US, an ecom merchant wouldn't necessarily know that the shipping zip code doesn't match the billing code. 2) Also, in offline chip countries the card determines whether or not a transaction is approved, not the issuer. In my experience, European issuers haven't developed the same checks on authorization requests as US issuers. So, these cards might be more valuable because they are more likely to get approved. Read more...
A smart card slot in terminals doesn't mean there is a reader or that the reader is activated. Then, activated reader or not, the U.S. processors don't have apps certified or ready to load into those terminals to accept and process smart card transactions just yet. Don't get your card(t) before the terminal (horse). Read more...
The marketplace does speak. More fraud capacity translates to higher value for the stolen data. Because nearly 100% of all US transactions are authorized online in real time, we have less fraud regardless of whether the card is Magstripe only or chip and PIn. Hence, $10 prices for US cards vs $25 for the European counterparts. Read more...
@David True. The European cards have both an EMV chip AND a mag stripe. Europeans may generally use the chip for their transactions, but the insecure stripe remains vulnerable to skimming, whether it be from a false front on an ATM or a dishonest waiter with a handheld skimmer. If their stripe is skimmed, the track data can still be cloned and used fraudulently in the United States. If European banks only detect fraud from 9-5 GMT, that might explain why American criminals prefer them over American bank issued cards, who have fraud detection in place 24x7. Read more...

StorefrontBacktalk
Our apologies. Due to legal and security copyright issues, we can't facilitate the printing of Premium Content. If you absolutely need a hard copy, please contact customer service.