VP of Wallet & Payments for Google, Osama Bedier, talked recently about a number of items such as Google Wallet’s adoption rate, the future of NFC and even Google Wallet’s competition.
Bedier believes that NFC will be the future of mobile payments. He said at a conference on Friday that NFC is a much better technical solution that Apple’s Passbook. Specifically, he pointed out that QR codes simply aren’t as easy to use as NFC, calling QR codes one of the “many bridge technologies between now and what is a destination solution.” After this he said “I don’t like to comment on competitors,” but added that “generally, competition is good.”
Bedier later went on to say that as the price required to manufacture them becomes lower, he thinks that “NFC chips will replace bar codes.” He said of Google Wallet that since the update that allowed users to add any card, the userbase has been doubling around every six weeks.
The biggest problem for Google Wallet has been that it doesn’t ship on every new phone. Verizon, for example, doesn’t allow Google Wallet on its phones. Regarding this, Bedier said that “In general, we will work with the carriers on multiple fronts. We haven’t yet seen eye-to-eye on a mobile wallet solution,” adding that Google “would like to see a more open model.”
With Isis launching its Isis Mobile Wallet payment service tomorrow, this open model may not necessarily be a good thing for Google. With mobile payments, there isn’t a lot of room for multiple services without confusing customers and inconveniencing businesses. One company is going to have to come out on top, and whether that company is Google remains to be seen.
Do you think that, as Bedier says, NFC chips will eventually replace bar codes? Do you think that mobile payments are here to stay, or are they going to fizzle out? Who do you think will come out on top as the leader in mobile payments?