Added by Annika L. Krugel on June 1, 2011
With the search engine giant announcing its “Google Wallet” it will become the first provider of a service that will see people using their smartphones as credit cards.
Although other actors, including Apple, Amazon.com, eBay and Facebook, are also working on ways to allow consumers to pay for products or services using their smartphones, the “Google Wallet” is the first one to be introduced.
However, Google has already come up against obstacles, with eBay filing a lawsuit that accuses Google of building the mobile payments platform using trade secrets nabbed from its financial transaction unit PayPal and hiring ex-PayPal lead negotiator Osama Bedier.
In response to the suit, a Google spokesman said, “Silicon Valley was built on the ability of individuals to use their knowledge and expertise to seek better employment opportunities, an idea recognised by both California law and public policy.”
A test version of the wallet will go live in New York and San Francisco in the next couple of months.
The mobile platform is said to include partners such as Macy’s, Subway sandwiches, and American Eagle Outfitters clothing shops.
Justin Post, financial analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said “Google Wallet has big ambitions but also faces great obstacles, but (its operating system for mobile) Android and location-based search are key assets that could help launch the ecosystem.”