Google Wallet

Norm Johnston

Background

On May 26th, Google publically launched their new Wallet and Offers products. Wallet is a mobile payment system designed to make it simple and easy to purchase goods, earn awards, and get instant discounts via your smartphone. Wallet will be supported by Google Offers, which is a direct challenge to Groupon. Offers will enable customers to get a variety of coupons, deals, and other incentives from brands and retailers that are instantly applied when paid via Wallet. Google believes both programs will dramatically accelerate their mobile advertising revenues and ROI on the multiple investments they have already made in the mobile space.

Details

Google Wallet is a mobile application that essentially replaces a physical credit and loyalty cards. Google has leveraged near-field communications (NFC) chip technology to enable consumers to simply "tap, pay, and save" via their smartphone against any of MasterCards' 311,000 global "PayPass" terminals, which are installed across a variety of merchants ranging from Subway to Macys department stores. Google does not make any revenue from the actual credit card purchase. Their commercial model is focused on building mobile advertising revenue by linking together their various mobile products and services to support Wallet.