Google’s mobile payment system, known as Google Wallet,” has not received the kind of warm welcome that the company might have hoped. First, there were issues with Verizon blocking the service on the new Galaxy Nexus as the carrier prepped its own rival service, known as “ISIS.” Wallet then had a few roadblocks with security concerns related to prepaid cards, which the company apologized for with complimentary $5 deposits to Google wallet users. Today, a report from Bloomberg citing “people with knowledge of the project” claimed, despite being “enthusiastic” about progress, Google is considering sharing revenue with carriers to get them to support the technology:
Google Inc. (GOOG) is weighing changes aimed at improving its Google Wallet mobile-payment system following slow adoption and the departure of two key managers, according to people with knowledge of the project… The company is considering sharing revenue with carriers such as Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc. (T) to get them to embrace the technology, which lets users pay for items at checkout by tapping phones on a reader device, said the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private.
According to the report, Google’s offer would give AT&T and Verizon a cut of revenues when consumers accept deals through coupons and special offers within the Google Wallet app. As of now, Google’s service still only runs on two devices from Sprint (12 launching this year), and AT&T and Verizon are expected to back ISIS when it rolls out in the coming months. A Verizon spokesperson confirmed to Bloomberg that the carrier is continuing “commercial discussions with Google on this issue.” Bloomberg’s sources continued to claim Google is also considering other methods of growing the service without the help of carriers, such as in-store terminals:
Another option Google is exploring: sidestepping the carriers altogether and relying more heavily on in-store terminals to complete mobile-payment transactions, the people said. This approach could involve additional hardware or software for the terminals, coupled with software that runs on Google’s servers, they said.
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