Personal Finance

Google Muscles In On Mobile Payment Game For Devices

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Apple is at the top of the heap when it comes to its devices being used to process mobile payments, but Google has set its sights on becoming a major player in the market.

Apple’s mobile devices – the iPhone and iPad tablet – are the two most ubiquitous handsets in use when it comes to merchants accepting mobile transactions, but Google, with portable devices of its own, has a plan to supplant the current leader, according to a report from American Banker. The competitive advantage it may have in gaining a larger foothold in the mobile transaction industry is that it, unlike Apple, has its own mobile payment processing system in place, and does not need to lean on third party companies.

Apple does, however, work closely with a number of companies – including relatively new startup Square and older firms like VeriFone Systems – to develop and promote use of third-party payment processing platforms, the report said. With the devices created by these companies, iPhones and iPads can accept credit card payments, and this transaction method is growing in popularity.

The web giant’s payment platform, known as Google Wallet, is still in development, but could be tied to a number of different services to incentivize use for both businesses and consumers, the report said. Forexample, the company could allow merchants to attach loyalty rewards programs to Wallet to make it more convenient for shoppers to use the service, and shoppers could be further benefited by being able to apply coupons to their account without clipping anything.

When you tie the ability to do couponing with payment, it is more interactive for the consumer and better for the merchant, who can control how they will play with incentives to drive people in the door,” Rich Miner, a partner atGoogle’s investment arm Google Ventures, told the news site.

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The future of mobile purchasing is still relatively unclear insofar as it’s difficult to predict exactly which type of payment technology will catch on with consumers, but experts say that the industry itself will become quite valuable in the near future regardless. Some estimates put the annual value to companies in this industry at a total of $44 billion by just 2015.

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