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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. 

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