A mobile-payments system from Google Inc. may strengthen the search giant’s hand in marketing but will pose little threat to established payments networks, according to experts contacted by Digital Transactions News. The Google venture, more news of which emerged this week, has surprised some observers because it includes MasterCard Inc. and Citigroup Inc., players that might be thought opposed to working with a non-bank technology powerhouse.

Google, by contrast, is likely to lend heavy promotion to its venture, Rosenberg says. “Google will try to promote the heck out of this,” he notes. “This will put a fire under Isis, which has been moving slowly.”

Indeed, the participation by Citi, which reportedly will enable its credit and debit card accounts for the Google mobile wallet, and the MasterCard network isn’t hard to fathom, given the alternatives in NFC and the eagerness in some banks to adopt the technology, says Todd Ablowitz, president of Centennial, Colo.-based Double Diamond Group LLC, which advises on electronic payments. “If you look at your choices right now, [they are] do your own [NFC] wallet, or go work with Isis, or go with Google, which appears to be saying the wallet is free and we’re going to push the heck out of this thing and we’re going to do compelling offers for consumers, [then Google’s venture] appears to be compelling,” he says.

Digital Transactions, March 29, 2011
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