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Google targets mobile money as key strategic priority

20 January 2011  |  17615 views  |  7 D600 mobile

Google CEO Eric Schmidt has identified the development of mobile money platforms as a key strategic priority for the search engine giant in 2011.

In a guest column for the Harvard Business review, Schmidt says Google's strategic initiatives for coming year are "all about mobile"

He writes: "We are at the point where, between the geolocation capability of the phone and the power of the phone's browser platform, it is possible to deliver personalised information about where you are, what you could do there right now...and to deliver such a service at scale."

To accomplish its ambitions, says Schmidt, Google will need to do some serious spadework on three fronts, including the development of faster networks, mobile money and smartphone distribution.

"We want to increase the availability of inexpensive smartphones in the poorest parts of the world," he says. "Phones, as we know, are used as banks in many poorer parts of the world - and modern technology means that their use as financial tools can go much further than that."

Outside the developing world, Google has already made plain its ambitions to be at the forefront of mobile commerce and is currently advertising for a technical account manager for m-commerce on its site.

Speaking at a Web 2.0 summit in November, Schmidt said the company was planning to incorporate NFC technology into the next wave of Android smartphones.

"You'll be able to walk in a store and do commerce. You'd bump for everything and eventually replace credit cards," he told the audience.

Preparing for the mobile revolution - Harvard Business Review.

Comments: (7)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 20 January, 2011, 12:42

Interesting news. Has Google informed how Point-of-sale- systems will be replaced to meet standards of new NFC transactions?

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Keith Richbell
Keith Richbell - eftpos Payments Australia Ltd. (ePAL) - Sydney | 21 January, 2011, 02:12

A healthy dose of realism from Antii, but if the cost of paying via NFC is sufficiently attractive for merchants I doubt the installation of new terminals will be a barrier. Add to that the likely speed of individual transactions and the savings made from other back office costs and mobile money could be a retailers dream come true. As more and more phones are shipped ready loaded with NFC cabability the tipping point might arrive quicker than we all imagine. I look forward to the format war about to commence.

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Shripad Vaidya
Shripad Vaidya - Oracle - Mumbai | 21 January, 2011, 05:22

Parallel discussion on google topic, with different dimension can be viewed  on the Online Banking community page at Finextra. http://www.finextra.com/community/fullblog.aspx?id=4873

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 21 January, 2011, 07:48

As Keith pointed out, it will be lucrative for merchants to add new payment system in to their current platform, but as SEPA conversion showed, most of SME merchants complained the upgrade of their current card reader system to new version. It it question of egg and hen, if there is no shops for consumers to use new payment system, they won't buy this open mobile payment system and merchant is seeking what will be critical mass of users before he invest to new payment technology.

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 21 January, 2011, 10:21

Is there a certain amount of arrogance and ignorance here from Google? Finextra readers will be well aware that the developing world is already more advanced in its use of mobile for financial transactions. Location-based services may be of limited utility when you already know you're 5 miles away from whatever you need. Chinese manufactures can market cheap Android phones without needing to involve Google in any way. Lastly Google doesn't have such a lock on its core search market in many of these territories. So, it looks like they're trying to jump on a train that's already left the station.

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 21 January, 2011, 14:36

POS vendors may find niche 3rd parties speed their evolution to mobile payment

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Nick Collin
Nick Collin - Collin Consulting Ltd - London | 24 January, 2011, 12:48

... and for another parallel discussion on this topic see "Contactless, Mobile, NFC - Is It All Hype?" (ID=4847)

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