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Google Wallet Is Not About Mobile Payments

May 27, 2011

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Why Read This Brief

Google's statement that mobile payments are just getting started is correct. Its announcement on May 26, 2011, was another early salvo in what will be a long and hard-fought battle to change consumers' payment behavior and, as a potential result, the makeup of the payments landscape. Relying on an installed base of phones that is today indistinguishable from zero, a single payment system, a single card issuer, and a modest network of merchants capable of accepting these phone-based payments means that the near-term impact will be negligible. However, Google's interest here isn't in the payments; it's in the data that underlies the complete chain of commerce including consideration, promotion, transaction details, coupons, and receipts. The longer-term impact is potentially much more significant and another sign that consumer product strategists need to anticipate the disruption created by new entrants in the payment value chain.

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