Feeds

Google Wallet pockets Visa

Credit colossus joins digital cash service

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

Visa will be joining MasterCard in Google Wallet, making the Chocolate Factory's service acceptable just about everywhere - if you have the right app installed.

Google Wallet's US launch was limited to Citi bank accounts and its own prepaid card, and was only accepted on MasterCard's PayPass terminals. Visa has wasted no time announcing that it too will be finding space in the Google Wallet, and that Wallet users will be able to pay anywhere there's a Visa PayWave terminal installed too.

Just about every payment terminal shipped these days supports NFC (the near-field communications radio standard used to make the payments), and millions of Europeans can already make payments of up to £15 with a tap of a card, though few of them are aware of it. Those payments are based on PayWave and PayPass - provided by Visa and MasterCard respectively - and most terminals support both these days.

At the launch of Google's virtual pockets, a bank wanting to create an instance of their credit card for Wallet had to sign up with MasterCard, which was quite a limitation. Only now, thanks to Visa, they won't, and Google Wallet can play on an equal footing with operator-backed Isis as the shape of the industry starts to come together.

That industry is settling on a model that adds an additional layer to the distribution of credit cards, allowing that layer freedom to make money from coupons and other kinds of on-handset advertising while the traditional players make money in the usual way.

A bank wanting to get into NFC can now create an instance of its existing credit card, backed by either Visa or MasterCard as most cards are, and take that instance to Google, Isis or the UK's as-yet-unnamed platform. The user who has the appropriate hardware downloads the app from their bank and can then use it to pay for stuff with a tap of the phone.

Google Wallet muddies the water slightly by launching its own prepaid credit card, backed by MasterCard, but that should be considered a separate offering from the Google Wallet which is used to store instances of other credit cards.

Google plans to fill that store with coupons and offers, as well as loyalty cards and hopefully (in time) boarding passes and train tickets. Operators have the same aspirations, and have launched national consortia in several countries to create storage pockets of their own, housed within SIM cards.

Google's offering is physically inside the handset, so one can change operator or SIM without moving one's account. The consortia systems allow one to change handsets without affecting the account, but lock the user to the network operator. Banks will probably provide instances of credit cards suitable for all the popular platforms, so users will have to decide if they want to be locked to their network operator, or the Chocolate Factory, but they'll have to be locked somewhere.

Without Visa's support Google Wallet was going to have a hard time making progress, but with it onboard the platform is free to compete with network operators for ownership of the customers' pockets, at least until Apple steps into the NFC arena and changes the rules for everyone. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.