Will it Take Off?
You can certainly see the attraction. Imagine going to work in the morning, taking the subway, grabbing a coffee and paying for it all with your phone. Or going on a night out and grabbing a cab, having dinner and buying drinks all using your phone. It would be very handy and most of us are never separated from our phones anyway so it would reduce the risk of being caught short.
A lot of merchants are already jumping on board and that will increase the pressure on others to follow suit. With support and incentives offered by MasterCard and Google it does look likely to grow, but it could still be years before we see the kind of adoption that would mean you can ditch that plastic and cash.
By releasing this early, Google is well-placed to take advantage of the new market, but we can expect to see some competition. Google can exert considerable influence on how this service is rolled out on Android devices, but what about other platforms? I can’t see Apple being too keen to offer Google Wallet on the next iPhone.
In any case, the future for mobile is bright. NFC technology is an exciting development and things like Google Wallet are the first step towards us carrying smartphone devices that do everything. They already allow us to control other electronic devices and that kind of functionality will certainly expand. They could even replace your car keys and your house keys in the future, but that’s a much longer way off.
Many people rubbished the idea that you would only need a card to pay for everything when credit and debit cards rolled out, but you can get by quite easily now without ever handling cash. I see no reason why smartphones can’t serve the same function.