Google Wallet Strategy Being Re-evaluated

Google is apparently considering making changes to its mobile payment system in the light of a less than stellar kick-off.

Google Wallet, which still isn't available over in the UK, rolled out in the US last September, using NFC technology aboard supporting mobile phones to "wave and pay" rather than using a debit card.

However, according to a report on Bloomberg, adoption of the service has been slow at best - plus the departure of two key execs hasn't helped, either.

One of the problems is that not every smartphone has NFC, as only newer models carry the technology - and of course, the iPhone doesn't. However, more NFC-toting handsets are emerging all the time, and the real issue is support from carriers.

Network giants Verizon and AT&T are currently backing a rival mobile wallet model called Isis, which like Google Wallet aims to offer deals and promotions at the till, and allows you to add your loyalty cards for an all-in-one shopping solution.

Currently, Wallet is only available on two Sprint handsets, and while it's been installed by some 50,000 to 100,000 punters, only a small percentage of those actually use it.

Google's potential solution and change of strategy is a simple one: To share revenue with carriers, offering them a decent cut of the action to bring them round. That would provide an incentive for adopting the mobile payment scheme.

The other option? Forgetting the networks altogether and relying more on in-store terminals, which sounds like an expensive option. We're betting Google is getting its negotiating hat on, as mobile payments is definitely a market it'll want a share of.

In 2015, according to Juniper, the mobile payment market will be worth some $170 billion, almost triple the amount 2011 witnessed.