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One Possible Explanation for Google Wallet’s Struggles

Chris Hylen, vice president and general manager of payments for Intuit, believes Google Wallet’s struggles are a result of improper motivation.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

"Google's agenda is to get advertising key words," [he] said. "That's why their wallet hasn't been successful. It's not really solving a problem."
Hylen continued that a mobile wallet needs to solve a problem for the end-user before that user will provide their payments credentials.

Hylen makes an interesting point. A solution designed to solve a consumer’s problem will inherently be more valuable to a consumer than one designed exclusively to generate revenue for a merchant. But the problem with this line of thinking is that the motivation for developing a solution is rarely, if ever, so black and white.

Yes, Google’s ultimate “agenda” is to collect advertising key words from users, improving its ability to direct marketing material to those users. But by the same token, Visa’s “agenda” for providing credit cards is to collect interchange fees on transactions, and that has worked out fairly well for them.

With Google Wallet, rest assured that Google is attempting to develop a solution that improves the payment experience for consumers. The problem they are facing is that most consumers are satisfied to be paying with plastic, and are not actively seeking better alternatives. It is up to Google, and all other mobile wallet providers, to convince consumers of the added benefits of mobile payments, a task much easier said than done.

Click here to read more from the San Francisco Chronicle.

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