August 1, 2012
Google Wallet made a huge announcement today that they will now support all credit/debit cards. While this greatly helps fix one of its biggest limitations, what does this really mean for mPayments?
Adding other credit cards brings Google Wallet one-step closer to increasing user adoption, but it does not address their device limitation that keeps users confined to Sprint and a few unlocked Nexus devices. Unlike its latest market competitor, ISIS (rumored to launch a pilot program August 20th), ISIS is a partnership between AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless. It’s expected to eventually launch on a select number of devices–including the iPhone–across all three networks, according to a source at Computerworld. However, ISIS does have limitations of its own in the credit card department, only promoting support for American Express, Capital One and Chase (find out more on ISIS, here).
After reading the latest news on Google Wallet, though, two different scenarios came to mind on what this might mean for mPayments:
1. This upgrade has opened the conversation to who will win when it comes to the mPayments race: Credit Cards or Operators? A few reasons why…
- Google Wallet expands to offer more cards, but it doesn’t talk about adding more devices or supporting carriers. What’s the game plan here to truly make this a Google, available anywhere, product?
- Will this also translate into carriers like AT&T, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile wanting to create barriers to Google Wallet in light of their own solution, ISIS?
- In the meantime, Verizon maintains an investment in Payfone, enabling direct carrier billing.
2. Does continued market fragmentation across credit cards, wireless carriers, and the likes of Google and Apple hinder the real growth of mPayments? Instead of competing, we should be partnering to make the pie bigger and establish mPayments as the standard. True mPayments is exactly that: one touch billing directly to your mobile device. Consumers today are frustrated with the many limitations of the various mobile solutions out there, and those of us in the mobile industry are spinning our wheels putting up roadblocks as a competitive strategy that only further slows consumer adoption.
There are a million reasons why these three industry segments should not partner for a better consumer solution, but there is only one reason that they should: the mobile payments market is expected to reach $630B by 2014. It’s the right thing to do.