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An article relating to this blog post on Finextra:

Google Wallet overhaul shifts emphasis away from NFC

Google has overhauled its mobile wallet service, opening it up to all Android devices running version 2.3 or higher and distancing it from its NFC-based origins.

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KISS of life for Wallets?

With the Google Wallet announcements moving the emphasis away from NFC and thereby expanding the potential user base for its service, is this the KISS of life for wallets and the kiss of death for NFC?

Obviously the fact that Apple and PayPal, in their recent developments, have not embraced NFC indicates there are concerns about solely using that technology. And for Google a key factor has been the low number of NFC-enabled phones in the hands of consumers. But, as the various reports indicate, there were other reasons for low take up of the previous Google offering.

From the consumer perspective whether NFC lives or dies is a detail. The important factor is KISS – Keep it Simple Stupid. Any mobile solution that Google, or others, are deploying in these developed markets is replacing existing consumer behaviour.  Payment involves getting out my wallet or purse, finding the relevant loyalty card and presenting that to the retailer before selecting the payment card chosen for this transaction. Any mobile wallet solution has to make those steps easier. And it needs to be something consumers can expect to use in most situations where they make a payment.

It looks like this overhaul is heading in that direction. The person-to-person payments function has been shown to be popular in many sectors so that was an obviously needed extension. So will this change make the difference and KISS life into Google Wallet? Only time will tell. 


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