Google Wallet set for new direction - Mobile World Live

Google Wallet set for new direction

28 MAY 2015

Google is widely expected to use its I/O 2015 developer event (28-29 May) to announce a refresh of its mobile payment strategy.

The agenda is likely to include more on the Android Pay platform, a reinvigoration for Google Wallet, and an update on the deal regarding US operator-owned Softcard, agreed earlier this year, according to media report.

The New York Times said that Google will announce how Android Pay will let merchants accept credit card payments from inside their apps and show how the platform can be integrated with retailers’ loyalty programmes.

In addition Google Wallet, the struggling NFC-based system, will be reintroduced as a P2P payments app that enables users to send money directly between their bank accounts.

Such a move would come as little surprise given, despite its early appearance in the market, Google Wallet has turned into something of a laggard. However, it should be noted that P2P payment is an increasingly competitive space.

Re/code suggested the company will also update on its deal with three leading US operators over their mobile payment system, Softcard.

In February, Google agreed to acquire some technology and IP from Softcard for an undisclosed sum. Softcard itself is being phased out. Plus, the Google Wallet app will come pre-installed on Android devices (running KitKat or higher) sold later this year by the three shareholders in Softcard — AT&T, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile US (the agreement obviously predates any changes to Google’s wallet).

Finally, the report said rival Apple will announce more additions to its own payment service at its own developer event next month. Enhancements to Apple Pay include a rewards programme. This seems an obvious addition, linking the existing NFC-based payments to loyalty and reward points.


Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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