Google announces Google Wallet, it’s official!Feature Events
Posted by Seth PlanckMay 26th, 2011 at 2:57 PM Filed Under Events, Latest News, Videos
Google today announced it’s Google Wallet app for Android.
Along with its launch partners today in New York, Google announced America’s first digital wallet, predictably named Google Wallet. Stephanie Tilenus, VP of Commerce at Google, took the stage to announce Google Wallet and Google Offers products stating, “Our goal is to bring together all the pieces of the ecosystem. Your phone will be your wallet. Just tap, pay, and save.” Tilenus also likened the product launch to the next evolution in payments by illustrating the previous ways to purchase goods and services, “We went from barter to coin, coin to paper, and paper to plastic.” We also got a free new acronym to add to our vocabulary when Google’s exec said, “We believe 2011 and beyond will be the age of MoLo — Mobile Local commerce.” So MoLo it is then.
Google Wallet is an NFC enabled app for Android phones that (securely) stores credit card information, offers & coupons and allows payments to be made by simply swiping your phone over a receiver at point of sale. Google was keen to point out that the service replaces your traditional wallet and expects that by 2014 half of all smart phones will have NFC capabilities. That’s a pretty big number totaling 150 million units & considering all the smart phones already in the market at this time. Google added in the Q&A session at the end of the conference that any current Android phone that does not house the NXP PN65 NFC chip could theoretically be used with the service but stopped short of announcing when that would be available.
The announcement also communicated that it expected to save consumers money and encourage loyalty offers, suggesting that when you get to check-out, all the loyalty rewards for your purchase are automatically applied when you tap to pay.
Together with its obviously impressive slew of partners Sprint Nextel, CitiBank, First Data and MasterCard, Google promoted its Google Wallet product as a full ecosystem that integrated marketing, payments, offers and coupons. Sprint will handle the data over its network stating it will not charge for the service which stands it opposed to the Isis group whose members include the other three large cellular networks in the United States. CitiBank, who today branded itself as the “World’s digital bank”, will provide card and banking services all backed by MasterCard and its PayPass system. Lastly, First Data will act as the merchant for all purchases. You, like us, may have not heard of First Data as acknowledged by Ed Labry of First Data,”Nobody’s ever heard of First Data unless you’re in the payments industry, but we process over 40 billion transactions a year.” But they are big. ”First Data has about 4 million merchant locations in the US where we process payments,” said Labry when he took to the stage this morning.
Trials of the system begin today and is expected to be launched in “late summer” in the relatively few markets including: San Francisco and New York. Additional markets will come online in the coming months. Retailers highlighted as accepting the NFC payments include Jamba Juice, Bloomingdales, Foot Locker, Peet’s, Guess, Duane Reade, RadioShack, Jack In The Box & Sunoco but apparently there are more ready to roll.
Google also took the opportunity to refer to the plans laid out by the Isis Group when Tilenus added, “Open systems drive competition, innovation, consumer choice, and most importantly, growth.” This sounds like a war cry to us and it will be interesting to see if and how Isis change their model again on the strength of todays Google Wallet and Google Offers news. We have more coming on Google Wallet in a little while, but until then feast your eyes on the vide Google posted on YouTube below.