Google Wallet Launches as Other Payment Networks Sign On

Visa, American Express and Discover Financial Services have agreed to work with Google to enable consumers to put their payment applications into future versions of the Google Wallet, which the Web giant launched today.

The announcement by Google that the three card schemes will support its wallet is not surprising, since all had indicated they would be open to working with Google on NFC payments. MasterCard Worldwide was already part of the U.S. Google Wallet launch today, along with Citigroup.

“Mobile technology is transforming how people pay for goods and services,” said Jim McCarthy, global head of product at Visa Inc. in a separate announcement by Visa. "This agreement builds on Visa's strategy of enabling consumers to make mobile payments with whatever device they choose using the trusted accounts they already have.”

Visa added that its goal is to make its application an option in “any digital wallet,” including it’s own wallet, which Visa announced earlier this year. Visa is expected to launch its digital wallet this year, enabling both online and contactless payments from both smartphones and PCs.

With the Google Wallet app that Nexus S 4G users can download, users will be able to tap their phones to pay with a Citi-issused MasterCard PayPass payment application or a Google Prepaid Card application. The prepaid application also supports PayPass. Consumers can use either application to tap to pay wherever MasterCard PayPass is accepted in the United States, which is more than 125,000 locations.

“Our goal is to make it possible for you to add all of your payment cards to Google Wallet, so you can say good-bye to even the biggest traditional wallets,” said Osama Bedier, Google’s vice president of payments, in an official blog post.

The Google Prepaid Card can be funded with any credit card, and the company is offering consumers a free $10 in their account if they set up the prepaid application in the wallet before the end of the year.

Google is also working with mobile carrier Sprint and processor and merchant acquirer First Data on the wallet launch. First Data also is serving as trusted service manager for the project with its technology partner SK C&C. Google has also recruited a range of merchants to participate in the wallet project, including Subway sandwich shops, Walgreens retail pharmacies and Macy’s department stores, along with point-of-sale terminal and reader vendors. The merchants would support Google Offers.

But today’s announcement didn’t mention Google Offers, which delivers targeted coupons and other deals to subscribers. Offers is the centerpiece of Google’s business model for the wallet. In a separate development, reports today said Google purchased a Germany-based offers site called DailyDeal.

Google Offers is expected to be trialed in New York and San Francisco, along with Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Most stores are not ready yet, though one, American Eagle Outfitters, is “up and running in some stores,” a Google spokesman told NFC Times.


Citigroup to Launch ‘Citi Pay’ Mobile Payments Service with Help from Mastercard

NFC Times Exclusive – U.S.-based Citigroup plans to soon launch its own NFC-based mobile payments service, Citi Pay, in the U.S. and Asia, in part using technology from Mastercard, NFC Times has learned.

Apple Pay Launch in Japan Opens Up More Opportunities for Third-Party Vendors

NFC Times Exclusive – As Apple moves closer to launching Apple Pay in Japan, the FeliCa-based service is opening up business opportunities for third-party technology suppliers, unlike most other countries where Apple Pay has launched.

Seamless Goes Ahead with HCE Expansion of SEQR Mobile Wallet for European Users

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Following the initial soft launch of its NFC payments service in its home base, Sweden-based Seamless Distribution, the parent company of the SEQR wallet, is enabling HCE for all European users as it seeks global acceptance of its proprietary mobile payments service.

Apple Pay Expands to Russia with Support from Mastercard and Country’s Biggest Bank

Exclusive NFC Times Insight – Less than a week after Samsung switched on its mobile payments service in Russia, Apple has launched Apple Pay in the country, continuing the international expansion of its NFC payments service to a 10th market.

Reported Qualcomm Deal for NXP Not Expected to Limit NFC Chip Availability

Oct 4 2016

NFC Times Exclusive Insight –  If a planned acquisition by Qualcomm of NXP Semiconductors, as reported, were to go through, it would not affect supplies of NFC chips to smartphone makers using other processor chips, said an expert.

Samsung Pay to Launch in Russia with Support from Mastercard and Limited Number of Banks

Sep 30 2016

UPDATED: NFC Times Excusive Insight – Samsung Pay is expected to launch in Russia tomorrow, beating Apple to the market, which disclosed earlier this month that it plans a Russian launch of Apple Pay before the end of the year.

Two Major Taiwanese Telcos Plan to Adopt HCE, as They Deal with TSM Troubles and Imminent Arrival of OEM Pay

Sep 26 2016

NFC Times Exclusive –  In the first cases of its kind to come to light, two of Taiwan’s largest telcos are planning to support host card emulation in their wallets, as they seek to overcome problems with their joint TSM and to prepare for the coming of OEM Pay to Taiwan, expected in the first quarter of next year, NFC Times has learned.

Prepping for the Pays: Far EasTone Offers Range of Wallet Services It Believes Apple Can’t Match

NFC Times Exclusive – With the expected arrival of such OEM Pay services as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay as early as the first quarter of next year, Taiwan’s major telcos are gearing up to keep their own mobile wallets competitive.

Czech Banks See Opportunity for Deploying HCE Mobile Payments

NFC Times Exclusive – Czech banks are looking to capitalize on a growing contactless point-of-sale infrastructure in the country, with two of the five largest banks there having already launched HCE-based mobile payments and the others looking to join the market, NFC Times has learned.

OEM Pay Services Drive Renewed Interest in NFC Transit Ticketing, Especially in China

Sep 28 2016

NFC Times Exclusive – The planned launch of NFC transit ticketing in Japan next month with Apple Pay shined the spotlight on the emergence of closed-loop NFC transit ticketing–which has been seen as a prime application for NFC phones but one that has disappointed NFC backers for years.

Analysis: Agreements with Visa, Mastercard and Earlier Deal with Discover Could Help PayPal Reverse Years of Failures at Physical Point of Sale

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Agreements that were announced with Visa, Discover and, last week, Mastercard may finally help PayPal reverse years of failed attempts to enable customers to pay with its PayPal Wallet in stores.

Analysis: FeliCa Mobile Payment and Ticketing Nothing New in Japan, as Apple Strains for Apple Pay Developments to Spotlight

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Apple Wednesday confirmed that its new iPhone 7 smartphones and second-generation Apple Watch will support Sony’s proprietary FeliCa technology in Japan, as earlier reported, enabling transit and retail payments when Apple Pay launches in Japan next month. The tech giant will also expand Apple Pay into New Zealand and Russia this year, though was able to announce only one issuer so far between the two countries.