Yes, Google still has a chance in mobile payments

CNET’s Marguerite Reardon tells us in this post from last night that Google remains committed to mobile payments despite its struggles in the market. Reardon cites Google Payments chief Ariel Bardin, who told attendees at a payments conference in Las Vegas this week that while consumer adoption has been slow, Google’s new-found strategy of storing credit card information in the cloud allows third-party Android developers to create apps that use NFC to conduct transactions. The cloud also allows Google to integrate Google Wallet with its other offerings, Reardon writes, including enabling users to send and receive online payments and track purchases via Gmail.
Google’s initial decision to use NFC as an underpinning for Google Wallet was costly due to a lack of enabled handsets and retail infrastructure, and as the Wall Street Journal reported last week the business continues to lose executives. Google still has major challenges to overcome — it doesn’t have the massive base of credit card accounts that, say, Apple and PayPal can claim — and the window may be closing for any NFC-based payments system in the U.S. But Google does have a strong network of retail advertisers at both the national and local levels, and the company is rightly focused on creating a compelling user experience rather than making money out of the gate. Nobody aside from Starbucks has gained any real ground with a mobile wallet in the U.S., and the market will almost certainly grow slowly over the next few years. And Google still has a chance to emerge as a leader as it does.