We know that M-Commerce is redefining how we purchase products and services, but will our phones soon replace our wallets?
In the past humans have always used some method of payment for services or goods; from bartering, to coins, paper money and on to plastic cards. Now the world is on to the next big payment scheme, Wallet Apps.
Through the use of “Near Field Communication” (NFC) chips, the world is about to be revolutionized by the Smartphone.
According to Juniper Research, mobile payment transactions for 2011 have been pegged at $240 billion for 2011, the projection for 2015 is $670 billion.
Many contenders are vying for the opportunity to be the leader in the Mobile Wallet race and with it the Google Wallet has arrived.
Google Wallet is an Android app that stores virtual versions of your existing plastic cards on your phone. It has been designed for an open commerce ecosystem and released on Nexus S 4G by Google, available on Sprint, with the plan on expanding to more phones. It will eventually hold all your credit cards and Google offers. At the moment you can pay with Citi® MasterCard® cards and the Google Prepaid Card. Google Wallet will also be available to Visa customers in the near future, while Discover and American Express will eventually work with the app as well.
Simply tap your phone to pay and redeem offers from hundreds of merchants, these offers are automatically synced to your Google Wallet therefore saving you more on your purchases. Imagine, you are hungry, you use your Smartphone to find a restaurant close by, your Smartphone locates “Restaurant X” down the road with an offer. You go in, purchase what you want, and at the counter tap your phone, the offer is redeemed and you have paid.
Eventually your loyalty cards, gift cards, receipts, boarding passes, tickets, even your keys will be seamlessly synced to your Google Wallet. With a single tap and via NFC, every offer and loyalty point can be redeemed automatically.
What about security, Google Wallet promises a stay safe method with the Google Wallet PIN and with secure underlying technology.
Your Google account must be associated to the Google Wallet service to begin using it. You can start the process of connecting your cards to your account after agreeing to the terms and conditions and entering a PIN.
Google Wallet is expected to launch this summer.
Other contenders for this lucrative App include:
PayPal, who predict that the wallet will be dead by 2015, recently acquired mobile payments provider Zong for $240 million in its quest to create its “wallet in the cloud”.
eBay and PayPal are suing Google after it announced its new Mobile Wallet program, both allege that Google stole trade secrets to build their platform, read more here.
Paypal have also released an update to the PayPal Mobile app that would let users make peer-to-peer payments using NFC.
Mobile Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile are reportedly investing millions in Isis, their own mobile payment project to compete against Google Wallet. So far Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express have signed on to the service and it is expected to roll out sometime in 2012.
NFC chips in Smartphones is going to change how people shop, how they think about going to a store, how they want to pay, making transactions faster and easier.
So look forward to the TAP SAVE & PAY generation.