Google announced their Google Wallet program today where your phone is now your wallet. This is made possible thanks to Near Field Communication, NFC, which I wrote back at the beginning of the year was key to so much of what Google was up to. The test will begin this summer and run in 4 cities, and expansion to other cities will follow.
One particular “early review” from Jay Yarow at AlleyInsider says that adoption will be slow because using a credit card is too easy. I think that is really near-sighted and here is why:
- Security of your credit card in public places continues to be a problem. In the UK for example, when you pay for a meal at a restaurant, they bring the credit card reader to your table so you can watch them scan the card.
- Not everyone has the ability to have a credit card, as rules tighten around credit, and I assume they will continue to do so, Google Wallet gives parents the ability to distribute money to their kids to use.
- Local deal and advertising via Google Wallet is going to be huge thanks to Google Offers. While it is not a Groupon killer, Google has a head start on getting deals out to Android/Wallet users.
- 5 years from now will we think about carrying a wallet, or will a single device do it all? I am guessing/hoping it will be a single device.
- Google just sent a huge shot across Apple’s bow with this feature. I believe Apple will make some kind of NFC announcement at WWDC in 10 days, how can they not?
So haters can hate, but Google moved the ball down the field today with this announcement and for the first time since getting an iPhone 3+ years ago, it makes me question whether it’s time to switch.