Technology experts can argue about whether the next step in e‑payments is truly a market disruptor or just another product line extension. In the meantime, technologies from several industries are converging to deliver the latest electronic convenience for consumers: the digital wallet. Industry giant, Google, has made no secret about its ambitions in this sector but it doesn’t own the market, yet.
The digital wallet function requires a mobile phone with an NFC (near field communication) chip, a mobile-payment platform app, a connection to payment processors and to merchants willing to accept this payment method. Google has all this and it has marketers anxious to advertise on its site and promote coupons or other discounts to consumers who shop and purchase through their mobile phones. Google calls its system Wallet and the company has agreements in place with MasterCard and Citi for credit card processing. In addition, the company has established business relationships with retailers and restaurants. The company also envisions using Google Offers, a Groupon competitor, to induce consumers to buy into deals, save them to their phones and complete the purchase process at the store using Wallet.
Kunur Patel, writing for Advertising Age, notes that this market development likely has “Groupon sweating for the first time.” In its usual fashion, Google will throw plenty of resources behind this effort. The company is hiring a head of commerce marketing who will be devoted to making Wallet a success and will be developing extensive marketing campaigns for the app itself as well as building promotions from retail partners.
Mobile vendors like AT&T and Verizon are also interested in this space and have been working together through a partnership called Isis. And Jack Dorsey, of Twitter fame, is developing a similar concept through his latest venture, Square.
Marketers may be eager to participate in this latest method of mobile marketing and see it as a great way to reach a consumer who is close to the purchase point.[Source: Nguyen, Chuong. Google Hiring Marketin Head for Mobile Wallet Efforts. Gottabemobile. 9 May 2011. Web. 15 Jun. 2011; Patel, Kunur. Goggle Wallet’s Killer App. Adage.com. 26 May 2011. Web. 15 Jun. 2011]