10 February 2016

Google's Aussie chief rejects Wallet for 'more exciting' things

21 August 2014  |  7534 views  |  4 Google wallet card

Google Wallet is not coming to Australia anytime soon, with the company's boss in the country declaring she has "more exciting" things to concentrate on.

Google first launched its Wallet in the US in 2011 to a wave of expectations, with many predicting that the Web giant would kick-start the mobile payments revolution, taking on the established payments players.

But the service has failed to live up to its billing, in part thanks to a limited number of compatible handsets and the refusal of telcos AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon to back it.

Last year the firm switched tactics, moving away from its initial emphasis on NFC and concentrating on things such as P2P payments and loyalty in the hope of reaching more users, including iPhone owners. The company is also embracing host card emulation as a way of bypassing the uncooperative telcos.

However, there appears to be little appetite to push Wallet outside the US. Despite rumours as far back as 2012 that it could come to the UK in the time for the Olympics, three years after launch the service is still only available to Americans.

And Google's managing director in Australia, Maile Carnegie, has made it clear that she has little interest. Carnegie is quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald as saying: "I have no plans to launch it [Google wallet] in Australia. My job is to really look and say, 'what are the big problems or opportunities to solve in Australia?' and there are much more exciting things on my plate."

Carnegie did not criticise the product, instead claiming that the "innovation ecosystem in banking here is actually incredibly robust" and so efforts are better concentrated in other areas.


Comments: (4)

Brett King - Moven - New York | 24 August, 2014, 19:28

What is different about Australia is that Commonwealth Bank did Kaching, which would be the natural Google Wallet competitor, years ago. Not only would Google Wallet need to compete with an Incumbent who is well established, but they don't have the ability to contexualize payments in the way CommBank does.

I think it makes sense that Google would not directly compete in this way, but they might outsource their wallet to other players. 

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Murray Heldon - Tata Consultancy Services - Sydney | 25 August, 2014, 03:25

CBA has dropped Kaching, so Google is not alone in realising that the time for the wallet is still elusive...

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Brett King - Moven - New York | 25 August, 2014, 06:22


CommBank did NOT drop Kaching. They simply incorporated Tap to Pay through the phone into their mainstream App


Mobile wallet is not elusive for CommBank - that is simply inaccurate. 


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John Candido - Black Cabs - Melbourne | 25 August, 2014, 07:17

The CBA has dropped Kaching. I live in Australia I use Kaching's replacement which is the new CommBank app. Customers used to have to login to Kaching before using it, which was a bit of a hassle. There is no need to login at all as the new CommBank app has an attachment known as a PayTag, which is attached to what is called an iCart, which is an outer case that envelopes your smartphone. The CommBank app together with its iCart is also available for Android & Windows Phones.


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