Google Wallet, the highly-anticipated, NFC-based mobile payment platform, was officially launched last week. However, despite all of the excitement, several issues remain for the service. For one, security analysts have expressed concern that the four digit PIN method of security used by Google Wallet can potentially be exploited by hackers.
Furthermore, the pool of consumers who have access to Google Wallet is severely limited. The service is only available on the Nexus S 4G, which can only be accessed by Sprint subscribers. And even for those consumers who are able to obtain a Nexus S 4G, the only payment cards that can be used through Google Wallet (besides Google’s prepaid card) are MasterCards issued by Citi.
Although Google is expected to expand the service to additional handsets, wireless carriers, card networks and issuing banks, the current situation may prove to be a problem, especially considering the alternative options currently being developed by competitors.
PayPal is planning on a service which enables users to simply scan a product bar-code with a mobile, and then simply allow payment to be authorized with a mobile number and PIN, all of this without the demand for an NFC chip.
What’s probably even more worrying is that the highly-anticipated iPhone 5 is likely to include an NFC chip. If this happens, it gives Apple a massive scale advantage over Google, given the astounding popularity of the iPhone.