Yesterday, American Express came out and said that it wasn’t associated with Google Wallet. Today, PayPal is slamming the service, saying, essentially, that Google Wallet is a lousy idea.
“In our opinion, this is just another validation of PayPal’s approach,” said Anuj Nayar, senior director, global communications. “We’ve had a cloud-based digital wallet for well over a decade that’s already regularly in use by over 113 million people. The debate about NFC has been raging for over a year now, but we’ve always had a different vision that isn’t tied to any single technology or method of payment. We don’t build products based on hope or hype; we focus on providing the best consumer and merchant experience possible both today and in the future. Payments is very complex and actually running a successful global payments business is very different from announcing one.”
Google seems to be desperately trying to make something work with NFC. It’s a backwards approach — instead of trying to figure out a consumer problem and solve it, Google seems to be taking a technology (NFC) and figure out how to shove it down consumers’ throats. The new Google Wallet product is just stupid.
That doesn’t mean Google is out of it for the long term. Its ownership of the Android platform is a challenge for any player in the mobile payments space. But Google isn’t in nearly as strong a position as Apple. Apple has always been able to dictate the entire experience on its phones. In the United States, only Sprint has allowed Google Wallet’s NFC implementation onto phones it sells.
I sat down with the president of PayPal on Wednesday to talk about the future of mobile payments. Look for that piece on VentureBeat on Monday.
[Top image credit: Simpsoncrazy.com]