Google

Headquarters: 
United States

Google, which makes more than 95% of its revenue from Web advertising, sees a major opportunity to use NFC to help it take advantage of its Web search dominance with physical merchants and advertisers.

With more than 90% of purchases conducted at the physical point of sale in the United States, Google plans to use smartphones, geo-location and NFC technology to stake its claim to what it calls a “new era of commerce” – bringing the online and offline worlds together.

The company unveiled its much-anticipated Google Wallet in late May 2011, planning to launch in New York, San Francisco and other U.S. cities in the summer. Users will be able to tap Google’s Nexus S 4G phones, and later other Android NFC handsets, to pay with a Citi-issued credit application and Google’s own prepaid application, both supporting MasterCard PayPass technology. Other banks and services providers are expected to join later in the initiative, which Google has worked on for many months.

Google would also enable users to “clip” coupons and other offers they find in searches on their phones and by tapping the phones on smart posters to add to the wallet. The offers would also be sent to their phone inboxes. Users could redeem the offers with a “SingleTap,” along with the payment.

To encourage major retail chains to accept contactless payment and couponing, Google is subsidizing terminals. It has already announced major new U.S. merchants to accept contactless stateside, including the Subway sandwich chain, Walgreen retail pharmacies and Macy’s department stores.

The customized couponing service is part of Google Offers, a competitor to deal-of-the-day startup Groupon and underpinning Google’s business case for NFC.

Google plans to make its money not with NFC payment–it won't even charge users to top up its prepaid card–but with targeted advertising and offers. The search giant hopes to cash in on the move to mobile for Web browsing and shopping by consumers, using NFC interactivity and other data it collects on shoppers’ location, buying habits and preferences.

It will control the secure chip in its Nexus S, which stores the payment applications and probably other applications. It remains to be seen whether it can control secure chips in other Android phones and would block other mobile wallets from being loaded onto the phones.

Google was to test the wallet in New York and San Francisco around the time of its late May 2011 announcement and the commercial launch would happen in these and other U.S. cities. It began trialing Google Offers in Portland, Ore, in early June 2011 and plans to expand Offers to New York and San Francisco in the summer.

Google has been talking to other banks in North America and also in Europe to put their payment applications in the wallet, as the Web giant makes its move to capture what former CEO Eric Schmidt has called a “mega-scale opportunity,” for mobile commerce with smartphones, cloud-based apps and NFC.

Key figures: 
Financial Results
  2010   2009  Change
Revenue  29,321  23,651  24%
Net Income 8,505 6,520  30.4%
In millions of US$

Employees 
24,400 (As of Dec. 31, 2010)

Key NFC Personnel: 
Peter Hazlehurst director of product management, wallet
Paul Reddick, head of business development, Google Wallet
Major NFC and Contactless competitors: 

Visa, PayPal, Isis, Microsoft

Last Updated: 
Apr 2012
Author: 
Balaban

HEADLINE NEWS

More Transit Authorities and Operators, Including Those in UK, to Support Google Pay

Nov 6 2019

NFC TIMES Exclusive – San Francisco Bay Area transit authority MTC has confirmed to NFC Times that it will support mobile payments with its closed-loop Clipper transit card, including with Google Pay, by the end of 2020.

NFC Wallets Make Up Growing Share of Contactless Payments on London Transit

NFC TIMES Exclusive – Use of NFC wallets continues to steadily increase as part of Transport for London’s landmark contactless payments service, with payments from NFC-enabled smartphones and smartwatches now accounting for 20% of all contactless payments, NFC Times has learned. 

Market Research Firm: Apple Pay Surpasses Starbucks App in Users in U.S.

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight –Apple Pay, which launched its mobile payments service five years ago this week in the U.S., has so far failed to live up to expectations with the service, either in the U.S. or globally, in terms of users and transactions.

Cubic Strikes Deal with Google to Enable Closed-Loop Transit Payments in Google Pay

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – In a move that could enable more large transit agencies to offer NFC mobile payments with their closed-loop transit cards, U.S.-based Cubic Transportation Systems has signed an agreement with Google to integrate contactless transit cards with Google Pay. Among the agencies planning to support the service are those serving Google’s home base in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York. 

In-Depth: Persistent Consumer Security Fears about Mobile Payments Prove Difficult to Dislodge

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Results of yet another survey has shown that a significant percentage of U.S. consumers continue to harbor security fears about using their smartphones for payments, a stubborn problem that has hindered growth of mobile payments from the beginning.

Mobile Suica Still Accounts for Disappointing Share of Suica Users and Transactions in Japan

NFC TIMES Exclusive – While Apple Pay next month will mark the 5th anniversary since its launch in the U.S., there is another contactless-mobile payments service that is three times as old as Apple Pay–Japan’s Osaifu-Keitai, or wallet phones, which this year turned 15. 

Rome Latest Transit System to Launch Open-Loop Fare Collection; also Enables Monthly Passes with EMV Cards

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Rome has become the second major city in Italy–and one of a small but growing number of large cities globally–to enable riders to pay transit fares with EMV contactless credit, debit and prepaid cards and NFC devices.

Vivo Last of Major Chinese Smartphone Makers to Officially Launch NFC Pays Wallet

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Vivo, China’s second largest smartphone maker, made it official this week, launching its NFC-enabled “vivo Pay” wallet, the last of the major Chinese phone OEMs to roll out NFC payments–though their use has been disappointing, at least for payments in stores.

In-Depth: Fit Pay’s Troubles Indicate Difficult Business Case for Provisioning to Wearables

Sep 19 2019

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight –  Given the poor financial results of U.S.-based Fit Pay, it’s becoming clear that the business case for provisioning of payment cards to wearable devices remains difficult.

Analysis: Chase Pay Latest Bank Wallet to Shut Down; Why Did They Fail?

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Plans disclosed this week by JPMorgan Chase to shut down its Chase Pay app for in-store purchases is yet another nail in the coffin–perhaps the final one–for bank wallets in the U.S. And the situation does not look much brighter for bank-issued wallets abroad.

Miami Latest U.S. City to Introduce Open-Loop Transit Payments

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight Transit officials in Miami-Dade County, Fla. are the latest in the U.S. to introduce open-loop payments of fares with contactless credit and debit cards and bank card credentials on NFC wallets, launching the service yesterday on the city's relatively small metro network, with plans to expand to buses later.

UK Tram Riders Take to Tapping with NFC phones to Pay for Fares, According to Early Results

NFC TIMES Exclusive – Transport for Greater Manchester, which last month launched open-loop payments on its large Metrolink tram network, said Thursday that contactless credit and debit cards and NFC wallets accounted for a combined 170,000 rides during the first four weeks of the service.