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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Google Wallet Top 5 Strengths Investigated

As Google Wallet rolls out into the US markets, identifying and reinforcing its strengths will allow this technology to become the innovation of the century.Google Wallet has to create a new market standard to overcome the early adapter cycle, separating itself from the small niche segment.  

Here are the top 5 strengths that aids the success of Google Wallet.
1) NFC will no doubt become mainstream, predicted to exist in all product and devices. 

2) Consolidation of currency, digital credit, loyalty, and coupons into one device. Note to Google: Create a plugin to allow the user to see all balance on their credit and debit accounts with a click of a button.

3) NFC chips offers more security protection for lost or stolen credit/debit information then traditional plastic cards. Card readers easily steal account information off plastic cards, whereas NFC chips will not activate with a user pin.

4) Ever had to print out a receipt to pay for a item you bought online to show proof of purchase? Google Wallet Payments holds that receipt information when purchase is made on the computer. 

5) Google Wallet empowers the consumer instead of the retail. The app allows the consumer to swipe the item and compare prices local prices, with directions from Google Maps. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Google Wallet Top 5 Weaknesses Investigated

Although Google Wallet is not considered a disruptive innovation(such the internet or cds), Google still has their work cut out to successfuly bring this product pass the early adapter's and move into the early majority market. Keep in mind that most products fail even before ending the early adapter's cycle.

Here are the top 5 hurdles to the success of Google Wallet.
1) Motiving retailers, restaurants, and commercial stores to offer option for NFC payments.

2) Provide incentives for more credit card companies to merge into the system.
3) Offer more NFC phones or develop more NFC capable technology for the Android phones.

4) Find an easy solution for customers with broken, lost, or just plain out-of-battery devices, and have no means for any other payment methods. They promoted that the phone will replace wallet.

5) Highlight why security on Google Wallet beats conventional plastic when lost or stolen. Note to Google: Emphasize on how the pin will protect consumer's sensitive information, which can be erased from a remote location, whereas normal plastic don't offer that capability. In either payment types, the individual has to cancel the credit/debit card but it's nice that Google Wallet offers the additional protection.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Why Google Wallet Will Hit Mainstream

In the past, Google has created many innovative but less then subpar products and services. 

Many of these quickly fade away soon after the announcement of their existence. 

Google wave, the service that "lets you communicate and collaborate in real time" failed to achquire adopters and was too complex for typical users. On the other hand, Google Buzz, the search engine's social network avatar, was a great product that seamlessly allowed users to quickly share videos, pictures, comments, and feedback. However, people were just reluctant to use the product! They had no reason to do so, as Facebook has already taken over social networking and the internet. Google TV and Google Music also ultimately met their demise because of similar reasons. 

After failing so hard time and time again, Google has taken a different approach to Google Wallet. As you know, Google Wallet is the first of its kind, a quick and easy payment system that collectively connects coupons, credit cards, loyalty discounts, and etc., all on one device using NFC(near field communication). 

The question now is... Getting past early adopters, how would this become mainstream? 

The answer comes in two folds:
1) As NFC chips becomes widely available, cheaper to produce, and easier to integrate with your phone, costumers will start to see that feature available in all smartphones. Just like how GPS, wifi, and pedometer is all a typical function of any smartphone. With that in place, people will have the choice of using Google Wallet or not. 

2) Google is not the only company investing in an NFC base payment system. Recently, Apple has confirmed that the iWallet will be on newer iPhone and iPad devices. Android and iOS alone consist of over 45% of the US smart phone market. 

The question is not "will it become mainstream", but "when will it become mainstream". The answer to that comes in the next post. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

NFC in MicroSDs

Netcom, a Chinese company, reports that they are developing an NFC chips that goes on the microSD card. MicroSD is popular in many smartphones, tablet, and PCs as external storage unit. SanDisk is rumored to be developing a 128GB mircoSD card

What this means is that phones without an external NFC chip, they can plug in one of these NFC enabled microSD cards and it will syncs with the phone, allowing for the user to use NFC based apps like Google Wallet. Thats right, you do not have to buy a completely new phone to use Google Wallet.

That said, a few major deflects with an NFC integrated microSD card is 1) the wireless range is small so the phone has to be next to the reader to make any connection. 2) A driver or some background application must be running on the phone let the computer know that NFC is possible.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Money in NFC

Realized the potential of NFC chips yet? Google has... Maybe its time you should too. How about investing on companies that manufacture NFC chips? The supplier competition in the NFC is steadily growing and the list of the current known producers can be seen in the chart below.
As seen, there are many big competitors in the market, though few are not in the same sections. Distinction between these companies is crucial when making your investment. For example, NXP focuses on smartphones, whereas TI focuses on other devices.


NFC Chip Supplier*
Key Handsets to Date
NXP SemiconductorsBase: Netherlands
Samsung S5230, All Nokia, others
Has NFC chips supporting both SWP and embedded secure element. Beat out Inside for chip for first Samsung NFC touch-screen model. Considered favorite to supply Apple if iPhone goes to NFC.
Inside Contactless 
Base: France
Sagem Cosyphone, Sagem my700X, others
Supplied chips for most trials involving apps on SIM cards with SWP connection. Likely to supply chip for ZTE, but no hints yet of any deals with tier-one handset makers.
Shanghai Fudan Microelectronics
Base: China
HEDY, Changhong
Has supplied chips for NFC handsets used by China Unicom in Shanghai. Will be key supplier to Chinese handset makers if Unicom and other telcos roll out NFC in China.
Base: Switzerland
Said it can supply SIM chips “integrated” with planned NFC chip, including SIMs supporting Mifare. But NFC chip has been absent since ST announced it in late 2008. Chip maker said it will be able to ramp up in H2 of 2010, when it predicts handset makers will be launching three to five NFC models.
Texas Instruments
Base: United States
Big U.S. chip maker is targeting planned NFC chip to devices other than phones. After layoffs in its RFID unit last year, TI appears to be putting emphasis back on contactless with the standalone NFC chip. NFC integrated with TI’s wireless chipsets might come later.
Base: Denmark
Fabless Danish startup said it will have samples in mid-2010 of a small, low-cost SWP-enabled NFC chip.
Table Source:

The Market & The Competitors

As many of you know, Paypal is sueing Google on its Google Wallet product, alleging that their former employees gave away trade secrets. If Google loses, Google Wallet could take a massive turn or take a huge financial hit.

While all this is happening, Apple is rumored to be making a similar product for its iOS and iTunes product line, called the iWallet. Expect to see the next iPhones equipped with the NFC chips. Orange is also launching a service called Quick Tap and O2 is expected to be coming out with somthing in the autumn.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Google Wallet + Google Offers = ?

If you have ever bought something off of Groupon then you are familiar with how their system works. Google Offer operates exactly the same. Everday, deals with huge discounts(50% or more as promised by Google) will be offered up in your location. These deals will have a time limit and a certain purchasable amount. Once the deal is over, a new deal comes up. Unlike Groupon, Google Offer discounts is redeemable on the Google Wallet network. Simply show or tap your purchased item to the cashier and the payment is done.

Google Wallet Annouced

After 6 years in the making, Google has announced that Google Wallet will be coming soon. Many big name stores has signed to be apart of this event. Demos and trails of Google have begun in many places. You can see if Google Wallet is available in your area. Of course, you would have to purchase an NFC phone.

A list of NFC Phones for 6/3/11:
  • Nokia C7-00
  • Nokia 6212 Classic
  • Nokia 6131 NFC
  • Nokia 6680
  • Nokia 3220 + NFC Shell
  • Samsung S5230 Tocco Lite/Star/Player One/Avila
  • Samsung SGH-X700 NFC
  • Samsung D500E
  • SAGEM my700X Contactless
  • LG 600V contactless
  • Motorola L7 (SLVR)
  • Benq T80
  • Sagem Cosyphone
  • Google Nexus S
  • Google Nexus S 4G
  • Samsung Galaxy S II (Some versions but not all)
  • Samsung Wave 578
  • BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930

Monday, May 2, 2011

It Begins: Google Wallet, The Rumor In 2005

In 2005, the Wall Street Journal posted an article about Google creating an online payment system, to diversify their revenue stream. The article indicated that the new Google system would be something very similar to Ebay's PayPal. As you know, PayPal offers the ability to share an individual's account for payments, without the need for any additional information. PayPal generates a large portion of Ebay's revenue stream, predicting to make around $7 Billion in 2013. Obviously, Google will have to differentiate itself from PayPal... but how?

Additionally, the leak also describes that this new Google payment system will be named "Google Wallet". Thus, A new dawn to the revolution in online payment begins.

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