Verizon Blocking Google Wallet? Poor Decision

1:25 PM Competing, short-sighted interests in mCommerce remain a big reason the market is so slow to take off

Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms

December 6, 2011

2 Min Read
Verizon Blocking Google Wallet? Poor Decision

1:25 PM -- Money is one of the biggest things couples fight about, and it looks like it's also driving a wedge in the wireless ecosystem.

Verizon Wireless will be blocking Google Wallet from the Samsung Corp. Galaxy S when it launches any day now, despite the fact that it's an Near-Field Communications (NFC) phone and an Android NFC service, The Wall Street Journal reported late Monday. A Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) spokesman told the publication, “Verizon asked us not to include this functionality in the product,” although it’ll still be downloadable from the app store. (See Google Preps for an Ice Cream Social.)

Verizon says it’s still working to provide the security and user experience possible for mCommerce, but what that really means is it’s eschewing Google’s Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S)-supported payments and couponing service as it waits for its own Isis platform to launch. (See Google Taps Sprint for Tap-to-Pay, Sprint Stakes Its mCommerce Claim and US Carriers Combine Mobile Wallets.)

This kind of attitude is the main reason that promise of mCommerce remains unrealized. The market is made up of so many competing interests that its progressed has stalled and it's quickly becoming fragmented amongst the few players that have services ready.

If Verizon is indeed blocking Google Wallet from its smartphones, it’s an indication of how formidable of a competitor it perceives Google to be. (See Making Money on Mobile Money, Mobile Ops Unite to Keep NFC in the SIM, US Wireless Operators Spend Big on mCommerce.)

And, those fears are warranted, but Verizon’s attitude right now needs to be that the rising tide lifts all ships. Otherwise, the mCommerce market will remain lost at sea.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

About the Author(s)

Sarah Thomas

Director, Women in Comms

Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.

She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.

As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.

Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.

Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.

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