Another big money move from Google as it continues to try and expand its reach into a myriad of different revenue streams. Perhaps it realizes its losing on the search quality front?
Aside from the critiques of Google’s core search engine product, the NFC capability for smartphones that Google announced with Google Wallet actually represents a big change for user behavior, and a big opportunity to make money for Google and their partners in the venture.
I know from my personal experience, the only thing that travels with me as much or more than my cell phone is my wallet. The two items are very rarely out of pocket or out of hand. Being able to combine the major function of my wallet (paying for things) represents a nice clean up for me. Instead of a bulky wallet, if I’m able to integrate my debit card, life just got alot easier and more convenient. So obviously there is a big enticement from a user perspective.
What makes this so great from Google’s perspective is the transaction fees. Visa, Mastercard, AmEx, and others make a killing on the 2 or 3% they get to bill every single business on every single purchase. A lot of consumers seem unaware that this occurs, but it does, which is why so many small companies charge a transaction fee on small purchases. If Google can get in on that revenue stream, this will probably pay for the next fifty years of Android development.
Visa and Apple are also looking at producing NFC products so it will be interesting to view this market as competition evolves and develops further.