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Google is ready, who is joining the party?

Week 39, 2011

Google puts itself in a position to be at the center of the commerce ecosystem, with Google Offers, dealing with coupons targeted to each customer, based on his characteristics, and Google Wallet that performs payment, with partners. Some might fear this is to be a dominant position.

At the same time, rival Isis, is extremely quiet. One may notice that already almost a year has passed since the first Isis announcement, and the system is only expected to go live by spring 2012.

But even, with the launch of Google Wallet, some negative voices are already making themselves heard. Analysts insist on the lack of knowledge of customers about mobile payments, the limited availability of handsets, the fact that not all mobile carriers are present in all consortia, the multiplicity of services, the fact that, for now, Google Wallet only supports MasterCard, global security fears from end-users, and even the risk that Apple would come up with a slightly different, slightly incompatible solution…

Google also has to establish its name and customer confidence for payment. Earlier this summer, Ogilvy & Mather’s Mobile Shopper survey found that far more consumers trusted PayPal to handle their mobile payments than Google (34.3% versus 19.5%). If Google’s challenge will be to earn consumer trust, PayPal’s and others will be to remain visible as behemoth Google and its high-profile partners push their solution.

Thierry Spanjaard

Chief Editor

Smart Insights