- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
- Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar
- G-20 diplomats fell for hacker attack promising nude photos of former French first lady Carla Bruni
- Minnesota guardsman charged with stealing private soldier data for fake IDs
- Florida appeals court rules universities can’t regulate guns
- Vladimir Putin defends Russian conservative values
- Tea Party Patriots call key GOP firing a declaration of war
Google unveils smartphone pay service, PayPal sues
Question of the Day
Google said it’s launching a Google Wallet trial in San Francisco and New York in cooperation with Visa rival MasterCard and Citibank. It will open up the system to consumers later in the summer. It then plans to expand across the country.
There has been talk of smart payment systems for years, and Google faces the same hurdles that have stifled previous trials.
One is that Google Wallet will initially work on only one smartphone, the Google Nexus S 4G carried by Sprint Nextel Corp. Several smartphone makers, including Research In Motion Ltd., maker of the BlackBerry, are ready to bring out more phones with chips for so-called Near-Field Communications, or NFC, but it’s uncertain if they’ll work with Google’s system.
Another hurdle is getting retailers to invest in terminals that can talk to the phones. Google Wallet will connect only to MasterCard PayPass terminals. There are more than 135,000 of those in U.S. stores and restaurants, but that’s only a small fraction of the total number.
Google’s carrot is that retailers will be able to put loyalty cards and coupons in the Wallet, helping them track and engage with their customers. Partners in the trial include Macy’s, RadioShack, Subway, Toys R Us, Duane Reade and Walgreens.
Yet another problem: Google needs to get cellphone companies on board. Its partner Sprint is the country’s third-largest. AT&T Inc., Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA, the rest of the four biggest national carriers, have formed their own consortium to create a wallet that will compete with Google‘s.
The final obstacle is persuading consumers to take the leap. Phones might one day offer slightly faster checkouts, but the benefit would be small. Google calls Wallet a “single-tap solution,” but in a demonstration Thursday at Google’s New York office, a Google executive had to tap his phone twice to a terminal provided by retail partner American Eagle Outfitters Inc., then sign on the screen to get a purchase of a pair of denim shorts through.
“This is about creating a compelling model and asking folks to join,” Bedier said Thursday at the New York event.
Banks and payment processors such as MasterCard and Visa like the idea of mobile payments, but have their own designs on the space. Visa already has announced plans for its own wallet. MasterCard is collaborating with Google but is working on its own projects.
“Today’s announcement is another early salvo in what will be a long and hard-fought battle to change consumers’ payment behavior and, as a potential result, the makeup of the payments landscape,” said Forrester Research analyst Charles Golvin.
Liedtke reported from San Francisco. Peter Svensson can be reached at http://twitter.com/petersvensson
By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- House pushes through two-year Ryan-Murray budget deal
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro 'marriage'
- N. Korean news agency: Kim Jong Un's uncle executed
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- Jane Fonda Foundation fails to make single contribution in 5 years: report
- All-out war breaks out in GOP over budget pact
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- White House improvises again on patchy Obamacare rollout
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Chef Mary Moran discusses the food we eat, where it comes from and what it does for us.
An informed and often humorous take on the world of advertising, public relations and social media. 100% Pure. Not from concentrate.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow