Many of us wondered why Google’s new flagship Galaxy Nexus doesn’t support Google Wallet, an NFC-based payment service that the company introduced a few months back. Since Google Wallet is only available in the United States at the moment, it makes sense that it isn’t supported on the HSPA+ Galaxy Nexus. Google Wallet also will not be supported on Verizon Wireless’ version of the smartphone, however, which is set to launch early next month. While Verizon wouldn’t comment specifically on the Galaxy Nexus’ lack of support, the carrier did tell BGR that it is working toward some kind of mobile wallet service as Verizon is a member of ISIS along with T-Mobile and AT&T. Hit the break for more. More →
We’ve been hearing that smartphones will transform into mobile wallets “any year now” for at least the past five years. But with the introduction of the Google Nexus S, Google Wallet, the ISIS initiative, and a handful of smartphones with integrated NFC, it looks like the technology is finally poised to take off. According to Taiwanese phone makers, more than 50% of all smartphones will include NFC within the next 2-3 years. That comes as no surprise: Google’s latest Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) operating system has support for NFC built-in, a number of BlackBerry smartphones offer NFC, the Galaxy S II models on AT&T and T-Mobile have some form of dorment NFC support, and the brand new Samsung Galaxy Nexus also supports the technology. The delay in adoption, DigiTimes said, can be attributed to the current ecosystem and standard specification. Read on for more. More →
Market research firm In-Stat released a report on Monday that suggests NFC chip shipments will grow dramatically during the next several years as an increasing number of mobile devices adopt near-field communications (NFC) technology. In-Stat said NFC chip shipments will surpass 1.2 billion units by 2015, the same year the technology is expected to reach a 30% global penetration. “As the costs of NFC chips decline, and NFC radios are combined with other chip functions, the cost to integrate NFC into handsets will be outweighed by the benefits,” In-Stat research director Allen Nogee said. “The growth of combo chips will also allow NFC radios to piggyback on technology that already has significant penetration in the market. For example, Bluetooth radios, which currently have 100% market penetration, can be integrated with NFC radios, making the choice to include NFC easy for OEMs.” Read on for more. More →
New Jersey Transit will soon introduce limited support for Google’s NFC-based mobile payment system, Bloomberg Businessweek reported on Wednesday. Google Wallet is currently only available on one handset, Sprint’s Nexus S 4G, and supports a handful of retailers including Foot Locker, Macy’s, Jamba Juice, Walgreens and Subway. Commuters will be able to use the handset to quickly purchase tickets in a tap-and-go fashion at New York Penn Station, Newark Liberty International Airport Rail Station and several bus lines including the 120, 87, 81, 80, 43, 6 and 126. “Transit is the fastest way to accelerate adoption and reach usage density in major urban centers by habituating the behavior of tapping and paying with phones,” Google vice president of commerce Stephanie Tilenius said. More →
Google recently announced that its Google Wallet NFC mobile payment service now accepts a host of new retail locations, including American Eagle Outfitters, Foot Locker, Jamba Juice, Guess, The Container Store, Toys”R”Us and OfficeMax. Previously, the payments were only accepted in a handful of Walgreens and Subway sandwich stores in San Francisco and New York. In addition, Google says its Offers service, which provides discounts at each location, is also available in a number of the aforementioned retail outlets. Users can purchase a smoothie from Jamba Juice for $2 or take 15% off at Macy’s, for example. Unfortunately, Google Wallet is still only available to owners of Sprint’s Nexus S 4G, but we hope to hear more about Google’s NFC plans during its joint Ice Cream Sandwich press conference with Samsung in Hong Kong tonight at 10:00 p.m. EST. A video of Google Wallet in action follows below. More →
Despite the growing number of mobile payment initiatives such as ISIS and Google Wallet, only a handful of consumers actually want to use their phones as a mobile wallet. According to new research from Intersperience, just 17% of U.K. adults are interested in using their phones to purchase goods. 24% of the 1,000 participants in Intersperience’s survey were afraid of security issues, although they admittedly didn’t “know why.” 24% also thought their mobile phone is more likely to be stolen than a wallet. 44% of the survey respondents were afraid to use their phone as a mobile wallet due to the lack of security software. “There is no doubt that the phone hacking scandals have unnerved consumers,” Paul Hudson, Intersperience CEO said. “We also detected a marked rise in security concerns when people use devices with mobile internet access compared to fixed access via PCs. These beliefs will impact the pace at which UK consumers adopt mobile payment systems.” Currently, just 8% of U.K. adults use their mobile phone for payments, but that figure might increase as Google rolls out its Wallet option in the U.K. next year. Read on for the full press release from Intersperience.
UPDATE: Regarding questions surrounding mobile payments, security and more, a MasterCard spokesman let us know that Mung Ki Woo, MasterCard’s head of mobile, will be fielding questions on Twitter tomorrow to help consumers better understand the technology, security and more. More →
Google Wallet, a new near-field communications (NFC) based payment system created by Google in partnership with MasterCard and a number of additional partners, is now available on Sprint’s Nexus S 4G. Google Nexus S users on AT&T and T-Mobile are left out in the cold for now. MasterCard confirmed that an over-the-air update is being pushed to the Nexus S 4G on Monday that will automatically install the Google Wallet app. Once it is installed, users can enter in their MasterCard information and use their Nexus S 4G to make tap-and-go payments at 300,000 PayPass locations around the world. Initial users will receive a $10 bonus on their Google Prepaid MasterCard accounts for being an early adopter, too. Google also announced on Monday that Visa, Discover and American Express have provided their NFC specifications so that those payment options can be added to Google Wallet in the future. Read on for a quick video of Google Wallet in action. More →
MasterCard announced earlier this week that it would partner with with ISIS to help foster the growth of NFC-based mobile payment solutions in the U.S. ISIS, formed in November last year by Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile, intends to deliver a complete mobile wallet solution that ambitiously aims to replace cash, credit cards, debit cards, coupons and more with one comprehensive mobile solution. So we know about ISIS and now we know MasterCard is on board, but MasterCard is hardly a newcomer in the contactless payments space. BGR recently had a chat with MasterCard’s Senior Vice President of Mobile, James Anderson, to discuss the past, present and future of mobile payments here in the U.S. Of course NFC-based contactless payment solutions are at the forefront of discussions surrounding the mobile payment space right now, and who better to discuss NFC with than the man recently named Vice Chairman of the NFC Forum? Our full Q&A with Anderson can be found below.
BGR Interview is a series of interviews and conversations with executives, influencers, tastemakers and innovators, covering the mobile and consumer electronics industries. More →
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa announced a new partnership with ISIS on Tuesday. ISIS is a mobile initiative that was formed in April of last year by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless in an effort to help foster the growth of using near-field communications for mobile payments. It’s currently being tested in Salt Lake City and Austin. Tuesday’s announcement means that, as the mobile market moves closer and closer to a time when we can actually use our phones to make tap-and-go payments, consumers will have more payment options. MasterCard also teamed up with Google and Sprint on Google Wallet, which will launch in the future for Android-powered smartphones. We’re not sure why Sprint has held out on joining ISIS, but we hope it jumps on board soon to save consumers from a fragmented mobile payment landscape. Read on for the full press release. More →
HP is working on phones and tablets with built-in near-field communication (NFC) technology for mobile payments, Bloomberg reported on Monday. Much like Google Wallet, which will soon launch for the Nexus S and eventually other Android devices, HP hopes its customers will be able to use the company’s products to make mobile purchases in retail outlets. Similarly, HP has a plan to create an entire ecosystem where users will be able to to receive coupons or other benefits, such as loyalty points, from NFC-enabled advertisements. While sources told Bloomberg the products could launch by year-end, HP hasn’t been known to deliver new mobile devices to the market very quickly in the past. It’s also still unclear who the company’s mobile payment partners will be. More →
Google on Thursday finally took the wraps off its Google Wallet and Google Offers services, which offer an NFC-based contactless payment system married with a location-based local coupon service. On the same day, eBay and its online payment arm PayPal filed a lawsuit against Google and two of its executives for stealing trade secrets relating to mobile payments. Osama Bedier and Stephanie Tilenius, both of whom were heavily involved in the development of the Google Wallet service, were named in the suit. Beider and Tilenius were formerly PayPal employees who left the company to join Google and help build Google Wallet. Both executives were with PayPal for the better part of a decade, and Bedier was most recently vice president of platform, mobile and new ventures. The suit accuses Bedier of having “misappropriated PayPal trade secrets by disclosing them within Google and to major retailers,” and it alleges that Tilenius broke a contractual agreement with eBay by recruiting Bedier once moving to Google. More →
Google may have just unveiled its preliminary plans to bring contactless mobile payments to the U.S., but mobile payments in using various technologies are prime to blow up in several other markets around the world as well. Swedish wireless analyst firm Berg Insight on Thursday issued a report on mobile money in emerging markets, and the group believes adoption will skyrocket over the next four years. In 2010 there were 133 million people in emerging markets who used their cell phones to move money or pay for goods and services. That number is set to grow an average of 40% each year to reach 709 million in 2015, the firm believes. Over that same period, the total value of mobile payment transactions will balloon from $25 billion in 2010 to $215 billion in 2015. “In developing regions such as Africa the mobile phone will become the primary digital channel for people to conduct financial services in the coming years,” said Telecom Analyst Lars Kurkinen. “Financial institutions are beginning to realize the importance of mobile phones to reach new clients viewing mobile money services as high-priority strategic projects. Also mobile operators and third party service providers are ramping up their efforts to target the huge unbanked populations in emerging markets.” Hit the break for Berg’s full release. More →
During a press conference in New York City today, Google officially took the wraps off of its Google Wallet and Google Offers mobile payment services. Google confirmed that it is working with banks, retailers, and other partners to allow users to make mobile payments with their cell phones. “Your phone will be your wallet,” Google’s VP of Commerce, Stephanie Tilenius, said. “Just tap, pay and save.” Initial partners include Citi, MasterCard, Macy’s, Subway, Walgreens, and Sprint, and trials will begin today with a full launch expected this summer. The search giant said that more than 300,000 merchant locations in the United States will work with Google’s NFC-based mobile payment services, and Google Wallet will automatically apply discounts, loyalty rewards, or coupons at the point of sale. Users can charge up the wallet using a credit card or a prepaid Google card. The firm expects that, by 2014, 150 million smartphones with be enabled with near-field communications (NFC). Google Offers will provide offers based on a user’s location and preferences, and that trial will first occur in Portland and New York.