Google has unveiled its ambitious project of transforming Android phones into a form of electronic wallet. When a consumer waves this kind of android phone in front of a customized reader during the checkout time he would be charged accordingly. The Internet giant has teamed up with Citigroup Inc & MasterCard Inc. The motive behind Google’s move is to expand its well-established advertising business to even local retailers. Google has even announced that they do not expect a share from the transaction fee rather they are planning to attract new consumers through the advertisements or offers. This is a win-win situation for the retailers as they can access valuable data which will help them in formulating their marketing strategies. Small-scale retailers are not to be ignored considering the fact those small and mid-sized businesses with just around 100 employees to spent around $35-$40 billion during the year 2009.
This is also seen as a move by Google to gain information on the spending behavior of the consumers and this has again raised the privacy concerns. Google has already been accused of collecting user data with or without their permission and running successful advertisement campaign is based on them. There are also fears that this new technology could be easily hacked rather than the more secure credit cards. Google’s answer to this is that any unauthorized purchase will be covered by the credit card companies. Doug Bergeron the Verifone chief executive strongly defends the move stating that a phone is lot smarter than a card. Edgar, Dunn & Co. A consulting firm has conducted a report which would really encourage the supporters of this technology according to them the trend of mobile payments has already grown rapidly and its value is estimated to reach around $618 billion by the year 2016. MasterCard and Visa are already testing this contactless payment method with the help of existing smart phones by embedding in a special chip and an antenna. Apple is also expected to incorporate this technology in its future iPhones. BlackBerry is also expected to follow the same in its future. The big news would be about Wal-mart which has already held a round of talks with Google about incorporating this technology but has downplayed it to be as just preliminary talks and has mentioned that further plans are to be formulated to adopt this technology.
By: Teni Sow | Senior Editor at Tambapress.com and Regular Contributor to Presspresser.com