Google Wallet has been kind of useless for Google outside of select markets; while it has facilitated the early days of mobile payments via NFC, it really hasn’t taken off in the way it could (and perhaps should have done). Apple, meanwhile, has launched Apple Pay and though it’s not in Australia yet either, it’s certainly looking pretty promising.

A report from the Wall Street journal shows that Google hasn’t given up on Wallet and may be preparing to make a number of changes to the service to reinvigorate it and keep it competitive. Here’s what we know:

  • Google’s acquisition of Softcard continues, and while it alone has not been particularly beneficial to Google — a lot of money was lost — they’re using it in a different way.
  • Google’s going to ramp up partnerships with mobile carriers to give them a share of the mobile payment earnings; something that Apple has refused to do.
  • Apple Pay’s success has grown on the wide adoption of third party companies, from banks, credit cards and retailers. Carriers, who have been cut out by Apple, can jump on board with Wallet and provide a service that’s potentially more widely usable; it doesn’t require retailers to get on board, just the middle men. On that, Google is working hard to get Visa and Mastercard on board with the Google Wallet idea.

It’s clear that Google is getting organised around something but precisely what they’re going to do with all this remains unclear; Google Wallet for the moment isn’t terribly widely used in the US, and it isn’t available anywhere much else. There are signs that this may be the subject of some more discussion at Google IO 2015, which would be fantastic.

It’s a slowly developing story. As we find out more, of course, we’ll let you know.

Source: WSJ.
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    Damon Lewis

    Fingers crossed it comes out here. I’ve given up on Commonwealth Bank supporting anything other than the 3 Galaxy S 4 models they support.


    I think this year will be different


    What even is the benefit of using apple pay or google wallet? I’ve got the app from my bank that lets me do mobile payments via NFC already? 😛


    Most banks dont offer NFC payments. They missed the mark.

    Out of the big 4 in Aus, how many do NFC payments via mobile phones?

    CUA & People Choice Credit unions offer NFC payments.


    Oh wow didn’t know that.

    Makes me appreciate CUA more now!

    Jason Davis

    Optus has their “Cash by Optus” service that will work on many android phones with a custom micro sim.
    You transfer your own money into it and away you go.

    They don’t yet support phones with a nano sim though, and I side loaded the apk to my nexus 6 but it reports my phone isn’t supported (by the app)


    Yeah not true ‘NFC’ phone based payment though. Its using the simcard that has a built in NFC. I put it in the same boat as all these ‘NFC Stickers’ that the banks are pushing. Might as well tap my current paywave credit card to my phone 😉

    Jason Davis

    Yeah I guess as it can work with the phone off. But when I tried it with my old G3, it required the phones NFC to be enabled.
    I guess it’s a hybrid.

    Still, better than nothing, if you have a supported phone.

    A few people had success cutting down the sim, but still need the app.


    Interesting you had to have NFC enabled. As that was one of the selling points of the Optus one, it works even if your phone is flat. As its using the NFC in the sim card, not the phone.


    Westpac has had out for a while now. I also think CBA but i am sure they charge a monthly fee. The Westpac NFC works really well and had saved the day many times when it and about then realize you’ve left your wallet at home.


    westpac/cba is for samsung only phones. CBA wants $3 for a NFC sticker and then $3 a year after that! 🙁

    While its a start, its still a bit of a meh as I don’t have (or will ever own) a samsung phone!