I just spent the last 40 minutes watching the new video announcing Google Wallet’s new features that were released in August. And if you have 40 minutes to spare, it is worth giving it a go, if for no other reason than to see how video product announcements can work. Personally, I enjoy three rather geeky guys showing off the cool stuff (as well as the ho-hum stuff) they have built. I particularly enjoyed the comments about how Google Wallet can help you remember exactly where you were during one of those hazy bar nights. Now that’s a feature you just can’t live without in Silicon Valley!
All joking aside, Google does do a good job presenting the newly released features of Google Wallet like the ability to accept all card types and the availability of Google Wallet on additional mobile phones. Until now the Google Wallet was only available on the Google Nexus S 4G running on the Sprint network. Now, according to the product manager, there are at least four other handsets that will work with the Google Wallet and they are adding the Virgin Mobile network as another carrier.
However, the big mistake Google Wallet is making is the dependence on NFC as the primary enabler of the mobile wallet. NFC has a lot of followers, but ultimately there are too many barriers for it to become a winning technology. I do appreciate the way Google is expanding the wallet to be more open and the combination of coupons and loyalty cards is definitely a great marketing strategy. If Google were to be just a little bit more open to non-NFC payment strategies and other mobile devices and carriers, then there might be some significant adoption.
Would love to hear from anyone that has used the Google wallet either as a merchant or as a consumer. You can post your comments here or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.