Google is to give away $100,000 to users of its mobile wallet who recruit a friend to the platform, as it prepares to do battle with Apple Pay and Softcard for market share over the all-important US holiday season.
The give-away was notified by Google in a blog post: "Simply send money (even a penny works) to a friend of yours who doesn't have a Google Wallet Balance yet," states the posting. "When they claim the money and verify their identity, you'll each receive $5 in your Wallet Balance within 3 business days."
The promotion runs until the end of November or the first 20,000 referrals.
Google is hoping to capitalise on the Apple Pay effect in boosting awareness of mobile payments at the checkout. Apple's launch of its mobile payment service has been a stunning success, with the company claiming one per cent of all spend at the Whole Foods grocery chain within three weeks of launch.
Nor does the data reflect a hip demographic, with Apple Pay also claiming more than half of all half of all McDonald's US touch purchase transactions at McDonalds.
At Walgreens, a drugstore chain of more than 8000 stores, Apple Pay doubled the number of mobile wallet payments being made.
Softcard boss Michael Abbott has decribed Apple Pay as a "rising tide that lifts all boats".
Recent research by dynamic credit card firm Stratos suggests that 30% of US smartphone users intend to use mobile payments to 'tap and pay' over the holiday season.