[badge style="3"]An Overview of Google Wallet’s Competition[/badge]
Fierce Competition for Mobile Payments
Google Wallet‘s clear lead in mobile payments is making many Fortune 500 companies uncomfortable. Google Wallet competition is pretty much everyone. Cell phone carriers are blocking the company’s mobile payment app. Many of the nation’s largest retailers are refusing to take Google Wallet payments. This is to buy time. Everyone is working on their own mobile payment processing app while they stall Google Wallet. To become the de facto standard for mobile payment processing, Google Wallet needs a miracle.
What is Google Wallet?
AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile Blocking Google Wallet
[image link="http://tbs.megabyte.io/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2013/01/ISIS-google-wallet-competition.png" align="right" width="360px" alt="Google Wallet Competition ISIS"]The three largest phone carriers in the United States (AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon) are all blocking the download of Google Wallet from their Google Play stores. There are even reports of Verizon blocking Google Wallet entirely on the Google Nexus smart phone.Engadget
Start-up ISIS Wins Carriers
Instead of Google Wallet, they are partnering with a start-up named ISIS. The service will be a direct competitor. It is currently being trialed in Salt Lake City and Austin.ISIS At this point in time, there is no telling when ISIS will be widely available. Google is only available through Sprint (and some smaller providers like Virgin Mobile and Metro PCS). Officially, to use Google Wallet you need a smart phone with an NFC chip and Sprint (Virgin Mobile/Metro PCS). You can then make payments at any MasterCard PayPass or Visa PayWave location. You can find the locations near you using the Google Wallet location finder.
Note: If you would like to get Google Wallet working with a carrier besides Sprint, you can check out the XDA forums. The Verizon Galaxy S3 is one phone running Google Wallet using a hack from XDA.DroidLife
Nation’s Largest Retailers are Refusing Google Wallet Payments
[image link="http://tbs.megabyte.io/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2013/01/MCX-Logo.png" align="right" alt="MCX is Future Google Wallet Competition" width="250px"]Google Wallet competition does not end with cell phone carriers. Wal-Mart, Target, Lowe’s, and a long list of Fortune 500 companies are refusing Google Wallet payments. The company’s process over one trillion dollars per year in payments. The group is going to design their own mobile payment system named Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX). However, MCX does not have an app yet.CNET
More Google Wallet Competition
Google Wallet’s competition for mobile payments is intense. ISIS and MCX are not the only Google Wallet competition. Everyone wants a piece of the market.
Google Wallet’s own partners are developing competing products. Leaked photos of Sprint’s Touch Mobile confirm that Sprint is developing a competing product.
To add to Google’s headache, MasterCard is working on a white-label solution.NFCWorld With this, banks will be able to use MasterCard’s mobile-payment platform and brand it as their own platform.
[image link="http://tbs.megabyte.io/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2013/01/square-introduction.png" align="right" alt="Meet Square, More Competition for Google Wallet"]Starbucks announced it will be supporting Square Wallet payments.CNN And to make matters worse, Starbucks invested $25 million dollars into Square.GigaOM Square has a slightly different business model geared towards mobile payment processing. Nevertheless, this is another blow to Google Wallet.
We are still waiting to see which route Dunkin Donuts will take. Coffee chains may pay a surprisingly important role in choosing the dominant mobile payment platform. Currently, Dunkin Donuts has their own app that allows users to purchase credit to use only at Dunkin Donuts.WebProNews
Apple is not going to part of the Google Wallet competition though. They did not include an NFC chip in the iPhone 5. According to a New York Times article, Apple is waiting for the market to develop before they enter.
Does Google Wallet Have a Future?
Google is the pioneer of mobile payments. However, if Google is to become the dominant mobile payment platform, they need to overcome some major hurdles. Taking on the cell phone carriers and the nation’s largest retailers is difficult to say the least. Their anti-competitive behavior is buying ISIS the time it needs to catch up with Google Wallet’s lead.
At this time, there is no telling which mobile payment platform will become dominant. After all, the Google Wallet competition is just starting. “This likely makes this very interesting to watch for investors – including hedge funds invested in Google like Julian Robertson’s Tiger Management; Wal-Mart investors like Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway; Target interests like Steven Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors; and Best Buy stakeholders like David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital.”InsiderMonkey
If Google Wallet succeeds in fighting the competition then Google will have Android, the best mobile payment processing app, and the best VOIP app (which we cover in our article on Google Voice). Google’s intentions are clear: they want to control our phones. And with the intense Google Wallet competition, now is the time for Google to get aggressive.