As you may have seen today, Google just released a new version of their Google Wallet app for Android, making it possible to use all U.S.-issued credit and debit cards on a phone. Since the launch of the first version of Google Wallet, MasterCard has been supporting Google’s work to help expand the functionality of the Wallet so it’s open to a wider group of consumers who want to use MasterCard PayPass.
When we recently launched our PayPass Wallet Services, we made it clear that when it comes to mobile payments, there will be many different shapes and sizes of digital wallets. In order for mobile payments to reach a critical mass, we need to provide an open infrastructure that will give flexibility and choice to consumers.
New and Improved Google Wallet – How it Works
At the heart of the new version of Google’s cloud-based wallet is a virtual prepaid MasterCard that sits in the secure element in the phone. A consumer simply loads any MasterCard, Visa, American Express or Discover credit, debit or prepaid card as a funding card into the wallet.
When a consumer pays in a store at any MasterCard PayPass location, they are using the virtual MasterCard in the phone – which is linked to their credit or debit cards that are stored in the cloud. This is a win for consumers because they can use their favorite credit or debit card when making a purchase using the virtual prepaid MasterCard. It’s a win for issuers because they have another way for their cardholders to initiate transactions.
We think this new option will increase the appeal of the Google Wallet – by making it more convenient for consumers with any card issued by any U.S. bank to enjoy the speed and convenience of PayPass Tap & Go™ payments from their NFC-enabled Android phone. We expect to see a lot of new customers signing up for the program, linking a card – and tapping at PayPass terminals across the U.S.
Watch this space for new developments – I’ll be blogging about them as they come to market to keep us all in the loop.