Verizon Blocking Google Wallet? Poor Decision
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