Should You Get Ready for Google Wallet? Is Google Poised to Compete with Groupon?
Google wants Android users to ditch their wallet and use smart phones as credit cards through transmissions via a Near Field Communication (NFC) chip in the phone. Over 311,000 retail outlets already have MasterCard’s PayPass Service. Google also has its own credit card for the consumer.
An excerpt from Google’s description of Google Wallet to merchants reads: “Google Wallet is an Android app that turns shoppers’ phones into their wallets, making one-tap payments in-store quick and easy. It also brings together the best of online and offline shopping, which can help companies like yours get more business from more customers—and spend less money doing it.”
Google is partnering with First Data for non-contact terminals. For now, you don’t need to worry that someone will be showing up at your location with Google Wallet. The service is supposed to go live in San Francisco and New York this summer and was just demonstrated at the end of last month.
Google says “Google Wallet has been designed for an open commerce ecosystem. It will eventually hold many if not all of the cards you keep in your leather wallet today.” Eventually Google says the application will hold boarding passes and much of the rest of your life’s transaction documentation.
Google also reportedly wants to get into the daily deal business using the Google Wallet platform. Google tried to buy Groupon last year for something like $6 billion. Groupon rejected Google’s offer and filed for its own public stock IPO this month. According to the Wall Street Journal, Groupon lost $413 million last year and is facing the potential of significant competition from Facebook and Google. So, there is some question how successful the IPO will be for investors.
Groupon Mobile already has Apps for the iPhone, Android, Blackberry, other devices that can use GPS to locate coupons and discounts available at stores near the smartphone. Not all retailers are looking forward to this new technology, but that’s another matter.
Imagine the possibilities if Google Wallet succeeds. “Sorry, officer, in my state my driver’s license is downloadable to my smart phone. Here it is. I even took my own picture with my phone and sent it to the state for my renewal. Also, I want to pay the half-priced, fine special offered this morning by the city that made it worth running that stoplight.”
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