On September 10th of this year at Mobile Future Forward, the topic of discussion was largely mobile payment technologies and the rather mediocre adoption rates they have been experiencing. As it turns out, the corporate sector may not be the market segment that brings mobile payments into the mainstream, as companies like Square, Amex, Google and Visa had previously expected. Instead, average consumers offer potential in not only growing the market for mobile payments but opening up an entirely new market segment.
The big guns at Mobile Future Forward also cited the lack of widespread use of NFC (near field communication) in mobile devices and retail outlets wasn't helping their cause and they didn't expect that technology to be mainstream for at least another three years. Google announced Google Wallet back in May of this year and they have teamed up with Sprint to start pulling NFC and widespread mobile payments into the present.
The Nexus S 4G carried by Sprint is the first Android smartphone with NFC on the market, which will allow it to start taking advantage of Google Wallet. They have already licensed NFC technology from Discover, American Express and Visa so that upcoming versions of Google Wallet will be able to take advantage of their services, but the next step will be to work with banks on getting access to their payment credentials, according to Osama Bedier, the vice president of payments for Google.
What has to happen next is that the banks have to have to agree to give access to their payment credentials. Those discussions are already under way. But in terms of logistics, I'd say it's a matter of months. Not a long period of time.
Bedier also led on that Google's goal was to for everyone to get rid of their physical wallets,
In the future, our goal is to make it possible for you to add all of your payment cards to Google Wallet, so you can say goodbye to even the biggest traditional wallets.
Google is also offering an incentive of $10 for people who want to start using Google Wallet before it goes mainstream. Taking all this into consideration, along with other services like Serve from American Express, we are definitely going to see a push for the widespread adoption of mobile payments by all the major players. I suppose if you feel like you can trust Google to make good decisions about handling your sensitive information, then Google Wallet is a service you can look forward to.