Google Partners with Discover to Popularize Google Wallet
Google Wallet, the company’s NFC-based virtual wallet for Android, is looking to reboot the service to attract more people to use NFC transactions with their Android devices. Just a few weeks ago, Google launched a system allowing you to use major credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard, with Google Wallet. Now, Google is partnering with Discover, one of the smaller credit card companies in the U.S., to make it even easier for Discover customers to save their cards to Google Wallet.
Discover now uses Google’s “Save to Wallet” API to allow its cardmembers to save their credit card directly to their Wallet account from Discover’s online account center. You only need to sign into your Discover account and then Google account, and your card is added. You can now rack up points by using the card through NFC. Discover was even nice enough to allow Google to use an image of their card on Google Wallet so you can identify which card you are using.
Given that mobile payment systems and virtual wallets are still used by a minority in the U.S., the collaboration between Google and Discover will surely raise the overall awareness of mobile payments and also a few new users to Google Wallet. After all, most users log into their credit card accounts at least once per month to pay their bills. If Google manages to partner with other major credit card issuers as well, this API could turn out to be quite a boon for Google Wallet (especially in such a situation of the increasing competition in this market).
Google notes that since launching support for all the major credit cards, it has “seen a significant increase in signups and app usage as people have loaded all their cards into Google Wallet.” This doesn’t come as a surprise, given that Google Wallet only worked with CitiBank-issued MasterCard cards before, but Google hasn’t provided any concrete numbers for Google Wallet usage yet, so it’s hard to gauge how successful the program actually is.
Hopefully we will see more companies jumping on the Google Wallet train and making the switch this easy.