Google wants to launch “revived” version of Wallet at Google I/O – WSJ

by: Bogdan PetrovanFebruary 20, 2015

google wallet

Google had a big start in mobile payments, but it’s now scrambling to offer a coherent answer to Apple Pay, a service that’s just months old, but is already dominating contactless payments. And that’s a problem for Google, not because payments are a big money-maker, but because a successful Apple Pay could sway many Android users to the other side. However, Google isn’t giving up just yet.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Google plans a “revived” version of its Wallet payment service, that it hopes to officially launch at Google I/O in late May. For this Wallet 2.0, so to speak, Google is trying to bring together an “unruly coalition of device makers, wireless carriers, banks and payment networks,” says the report, which cites people familiar with the matter. In order to coax partners into the new scheme, Google is willing to give them a larger share of the revenues, a sign that Larry Page’s company is determined to make it work this time.

Google seems determined to make it work this time.

Apple is not paying carriers anything for Apple Pay; it doesn’t have to, because it tightly controls what goes on its devices, as opposed to Google, which has little say in this area. So Google is willing to cut a deal with carriers and give them a fee for each transaction. Google is also in talks with banks and payment operators including MasterCard and Visa – having these two giants on board would give Wallet massive reach throughout the US and the world.

Google is also talking with device makers, of course, but the biggest Android OEM may not find it in its interest to support the new Wallet. Samsung just bought LoopPay, whose mobile payment system works with the omnipresent magnetic card readers without requiring NFC. LoopPay is expected to be one of the key features of the Galaxy S6, due next week. But even if it bets on LoopPay, Samsung may find it worthwhile to support Google’s extended Wallet, out of caution or to maximize compatibility.

Google’s chief business officer Omid Kurdestani hinted last month that Google would release a “fully functional payment system” that goes “beyond just tap and pay” this year. It’s possible that the executive hinted at the revamped Wallet, but he may have also referred to Plaso, the Bluetooth-based mobile payment system that The Information first reported on last week. Google has also been rumored to have shown interest in buying Softcard, the payment service developed by AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. Ironically, Softcard (formerly Isis) was the reason US carriers did everything they could to stop the adoption of Wallet.

It looks like Google is finally serious about payments, and we may have Apple to thank for that. It remains to be seen whether Google will be able to iron out all the issues for a Google I/O launch.

  • Mike

    There need to be some policy changes also especially with customer service and the way current and potential users are being treated.

  • Chris

    By “unruly coalition of device makers, wireless carriers, banks and payment networks”, unless that means every major card company in (at least) every country that support contactless from DAY ONE, then it will fail again.

  • Sandeep Sandy

    DId you Check WWW TECHTIDY COM

  • philnolan3d

    I love Google Wallet but unfortunately it doesn’t work on my Note 3 phone.

    • Mike

      It’s not supposed to work on the Note 3.

      • philnolan3d

        Why not? It has NFC, I would think they would want it working on as many devices as possible. Apparently SoftCard works but I don’t have any credit cards that work with SoftCard.

        • Mike

          Not on kit Kat not on lollipop either one would assume

          • philnolan3d

            Just because it’s currently listed as not working doesn’t mean it never will.

          • Mike

            Ok lol. Keep hope alive and good luck. Peace.

          • kstagg

            Supposed to work on devices 4.4 and above. Mine is 4.4.4 Sooooo – what’s the problem with my stock Note 3?

          • Mike

            You guys do a little reading so I don’t have to keep repeating myself please. If you’re not willing to do that then, by all means, keep beating your heads into that wall. This is my last response. Peace out.

  • Damon Lewis

    If only they worked with banks in Australia and England where the NFC payment/pay pass is very widespread (I rarely use cash or swipe + pin)

  • Jose

    Wasn’t Softcard made by AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile and not Sprint. I’m pretty sure Sprint left Google Wallet on it’s devices.

    • Jose

      When I had my Galaxy S3 on Sprint, I had Google Wallet and it worked just fine. Now I’m on T-Mobile and I have Google wallet, but only because I got the Nexus 6. My Note 3 on T-Mo didn’t play nice with Wallet.

      Short version: I think you’re right.

      • ljhughes8

        That was samsung problem.

  • Pedro Santiago

    Here’s a free tip for Google: Enable international transactions.

    • Brandon MacDougall

      Theres no apple pay in Canada..

      • Nic Schmietenknop


  • Marty

    I wish Google would go headlong into this because I use it all the time and find it very useful and convenient.

  • Get it together Google, it shouldn’t take Apple to make a move before you decide to get serious with your products. I swear Google sometimes acts like a Beta company with their ideas

    • MattEgansHairLine

      You have hit the nail on the head.

    • takpro

      Google: We’ve got a great idea!—>Loses interest. Apple: We just invented the greatest thing!—>Google: We should have thought of that!

    • Google’s working on other things. Like autonomous vehicles, Android, Glass, Modular Phones (Ara), 3d spatial sensing phones (Tango), oh and the expansion of true fiber optics internet across the states to name a few. And you’re complaining because you don’t want to carry a debit card around? LOL please have a sense of priority.

      • Apparently you have comprehension problems and missed the point of my comment.

        • And what was the point of your comment?

          • MattEgansHairLine

            I beleive his point is Google make poor business decision based on foolish concepts that they just push out and hope someone will buy it.

            Glass is a perfect example.
            Sergey wanted Hugo Barros’ girlfriend, so promoted a badly thought out product and drove out one of the best business brains at Google.

            After two years, what cost $80 to make was costing between $1,500 to $3,000 a pair to the end user.

            The result: billions spent to bring the word Glasshole to everyone’s lexicon. And to be out promoted and out thought by Microsoft in one week after two years of ramming Glass down everyone’s throat.

            They should keep to what they are good at; copying Apple.

          • I was about to write up a detailed response to each of your complaints, and then I read your last sentence. Please do enlighten us on what Apple is working on releasing. Are they working on building global network infastructure? Quantum computing? Transportation? Robots? Investing billions of dollars in space travel? Asteroid mining?

            Wait, I completely forgot. Apple is working on a watch.

            The reality of the situation is that Apple isn’t even operating in the same existential space as Google. Apple’s great at what it does, there’s clearly a market for their business model and that’s fine. But this continuing comparison to Google is getting kind of annoying. Unfortunately this whole fanboyism is coming from the superficial Apple camp. Immature Android users retaliate and all of a sudden we have a class war involving idiots who are more concerned with pushing their own agenda than actually comparing the facts. But the facts speak for themselves. Compare the projects Google is working on with what Apple is working on and the distinction is clear. Google has the balls to put out an idea and isn’t afraid to shut it down or shelf it if need be. You see this as weakness and incompetence, I can’t even wrap my head around that level of shortsightedness on a tech site.

            “Google make poor business decisions”, lol clueless

          • MattEgansHairLine

            Anyone with a little bit of knowledge know Google have tried to be Apple since they stole Robin Li’s algorthym.

            Repeating businesses bought by Google isn’t a valid arguement.

            One company who has released Glass has had thier stock price decline for two years straight. No fanboys, just traders looking at business models and structure, and they don’t want to invest in Google.

            You call it balls, everyone else calls it flailing around throwing shit at a wall to see what sticks.

            Well the stock market agree with me.

            HaemorRoids tend to agree with you, maybe you should put your money where you mouth is? No.

            Clueless, you truly are

          • Stock price decline for two years straight? Price on Feb 22, 2013 was about $400. Price on Feb 21, 2015 was $539. Explain to me how that’s a decline, lol. And how is identifying where Google’s money is being spent an invalid argument to the direction the company is taking and how it positions itself? I’m beginning to think you’re less clueless and more ignorant, which is far worse. If you can’t appreciate the value of having a company try different things without guarantees of success, then please continue playing with your iThings and let the grownups work.

          • Guest

            Cool it fanyboy, Google released a wallet with tap and pay and other options way before Apple did. Think Apple is the one copying.

            The problem with Google, as always is their crappy marketing and therefore crappy adoption.

          • MattEgansHairLine

            Funny, Google have just copied Apple Pay exactly, why when Wallet was perfect change to Apples tokenised method?

            Oops, looks like Google didn’t read your comment

          • kstagg

            You had me till the last sentence – but your post was essentially spot-on.

  • technobuffalo

    This phone will look like the iPhone 4 just with round metal edges and beefy specs

  • ljhughes8

    With out Google wallet fight to get it going you wouldn’t have these option. Google knows what it doing.

    • MattEgansHairLine

      This shows that Google doesn’t have a clue.

      If they ‘knew what they were doing’ they wouldn’t have to start again and try to follow Apples method.

      Unfortunately, because they have allowed carriers to control roid in exchange for pushing roid, they now have issues competing with carrier wallet functions.

      You have to thank the rushed launch and the catch-up position Roid has been in since the iphone launched and poor business decisions made by the Google leadership. Glass is another good example of poor decision making.

      Hit and hope is not a good business model.

      • ljhughes8

        Nobody following apple. Google wallet it ahead of apple. Ap can only do one thing. And you can’t send money to anyone.

      • VAVA Mk2

        Apple adopted host card emulation for AP which Wallet already uses. Problem was not the service itself, but marketing of it and carriers blocking Wallet prior to switching to HCE in late 2014.