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.

HEADLINE NEWS

OTI Announces Partnership to Supply Readers, Though Share Price Trades Near Historic Lows

Jan 26 2016

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Israel-based On Track Innovations has announced a partnership with an undisclosed global provider of magnetic card readers whose products are used in financial self-service terminals, such as ATMs, but the deal has not yet had a substantial impact on OTI's share price, which is trading near historic lows.

Rabobank to Use NFC SIMs from KPN for Rabo Wallet, While Competitors Promote Their Own Wallets

Jan 21 2016

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Rabobank, one of the big three banks in the Netherlands, announced it will make debit cards for its Rabo Wallet available on NFC SIM cards issued by No. 1 Dutch telco KPN starting in the spring, after having anchored the wallet to embedded chips in Samsung flagship phones starting last year.

Gemalto Continues to Promote Cloud-Based Payments Offer, Though No Commercial Projects Launched Yet

Jan 20 2016

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – France-based Gemalto, which has been heavily invested in trusted service management and NFC SIM cards in the past, is continuing to push cloud-based payments, announcing certification by MasterCard for its full host card emulation offer–with the help of technology from Moroccan-based payments software company HPS.

After SIM-Based NFC Fails, Turkish Banks Try Out HCE as They Seek to Advance Mobile Payments

NFC Times Exclusive – Turkey was among the first countries where NFC got a tryout commercially, led by the largest telco, Turkcell, which launched service in 2011 using, of course, its SIM cards as secure elements.

Case Study: ING Bank Customers Opt for No PIN and Very Low-Value Purchases with New HCE App

Jan 19 2016

NFC Times Exclusive – More than two-thirds of users of the ING Bank’s HCE-based mobile payments service in the Netherlands opt for no PIN entry and prefer to tap their phones for very low-value amounts, according to bank, which launched one of the first HCE mobile payments services in Western Europe in late November. 

Year Ahead for NFC: More HCE Rollouts, Expansion of the ‘Pays,’ Tokenization Power Plays Evolve, Fragmentation Continues

Jan 13 2016

NFC Times Exclusive Fifth Annual Year Ahead for NFC Feature: 2016 will see more commercial launches of mobile payments with host card emulation, as banks seek to enable their own apps to do payment, while in some cases competing with the ‘Pays.’

Top 10 Misses for NFC in 2015: SIM-Based NFC Falls Further; Apple Pay Expansion Comes Up Short

Jan 13 2016

NFC Times Exclusive – While 2015 was arguably the year that saw the most important rollouts yet of NFC technology, led by Apple Pay, 2015, like past years, was mar

No. 3 Taiwanese Issuer Seeks to Outflank Larger Rivals with Own HCE Service; Picks Visa Over MasterCard to Sponsor Launch

Dec 29 2015

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – TAIPEI, Taiwan: Taiwan’s third largest credit card issuer, E.Sun Commercial Bank, today announced the launch of mobile payments with host card emulation, the first bank on the island nation to launch HCE commercially. NFC Times had reported the planned launch Dec. 3.

Apple and Samsung Announce Plans for Mobile Payments Launches in China

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Apple has announced overdue plans to launch Apple Pay in China early next year, touting a list of 15 major banks that will enable customers to load their credit and debit cards in its Wallet app, including China’s big four state-owned banks. Meanwhile, Samsung followed with an announcement of its planned launch of Samsung Pay in China, which was also expected.

Google Announces Plans to Expand Android Pay to Australia, as Apple Regroups in Country

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Google has announced it will expand Android Pay in the contactless payments hotspot of Australia during the first half of 2016 with at least two of the big four banks among other issuers planning to participate, while Apple had to make do with only one issuer, American Express, for its Apple Pay launch in the country.

China UnionPay, Banks Expand HCE-Based Mobile Payments in Advance of Apple Pay Launch

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Even as major Chinese banks and payment network China UnionPay prepare to participate in what is expected to be the launch of Apple Pay in China in the first quarter, they are expanding their Android-based mobile-payments services using host card emulation.

Wal-Mart Launches Apple Pay Rival, Using QR Codes to Enable Payments from Own App–and Without MCX

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – Wal-Mart Stores, the world’s largest retailer by sales, has launched its own mobile payments service, Walmart Pay, from its app, using QR codes displayed at checkout to link to funding payment or gift cards.