Gibu Thomas, Senior Vice President of Mobile and Digital at Walmart, doesn’t think mobile payments are going to be a big thing according to FierceWireless. He even went so far as to say that people are already used to paying for products with cash and credit cards, so what’s the point of introducing a third payment method? Does this mean Walmart doesn’t understand the future? Not in the slightest. In fact, the company is looking into launching a smartphone application that helps customers navigate their massive stores. Using the latest in indoor location technology at their San Jose, California store, customers will soon be able to search for items and then see exactly where to find them on a map. In the future, Walmart shoppers might also be able to scan barcodes using their phones to help speed up the self checkout process.
But back to his comments about NFC, does he have a point? As much as it might pain you to hear this, we think Thomas hit the nail on the head. Cash and plastic work, there’s no denying that. All these companies fighting over making NFC the next big thing are just “more mouths to feed”, says Thomas. What he means by that is that Visa already takes a chunk out of processing payments. Operators and handset vendors want NFC to become the defacto payment method because they too want a slice of every transaction to flow into their pockets. This “battle”, if you want to call it that, is why the whole NFC scene today is a mess. When multiple parties fight for control, no one wins.
All that being said, we’re super excited that there are rumors floating around the internets that say Google is planning to launch a plastic credit card. Even if it means manually having to top it up, just imagine what online banking would look like if Google got in the game?