Rajeev Chand, Managing Director & Head of Research at Rutberg & Co. sat down with Osama Bedier, VP of Wallets and Payments of Google for a Fireside Chat at the Global Mobile Internet Conference Silicon Valley earlier today.
Osama began by stating that the payment industry, which doesn’t change very fast, has never been as “hyped” up as it is now. The last major change in payment methods was credit cards about 40-50 years ago. According to him, we have just started to enter into the next major wave of change.
Credit cards already work pretty well for payments, but Osama pointed out that we now have to define the value proposition that is going to give consumers a good reason to use mobile payments. Most likely that value proposition will be to save time, money or a combination of those two.
Google, the giant advertisement empire, now wants to turn advertising dollars into value for consumers by letting advertisements not only drive traffic to websites but also drive consumers right into your store.
Najeev challenged Osama by quoting a Tweet that jokes that Google Wallet only has 5 users, to which Osama replied in assurance the audience that they “have a lot more than 5 users”. Although he was not able to give any numbers, he stated that after the launch of Google’s cloud version of the Wallet back in August, transaction volume doubled in 5-6 weeks and they see that trajectory continuing.
Osama sees NFC as a three to five year game and believes that in five years almost every phone and every terminal will have NFC. In response to the same answer, Rajeev asked how many people will use mobile payment in five years. Osama answered that at least half of them will use payments, but for things like groceries that require weighing, you will still need checkout lanes. Osama denied that Google Wallet is the same as NFC, but that Google does see NFC as a possible destination solution for mobile payments. Instead “Google Wallet equals a Wallet solution that you can take with you everywhere,” says Osama. While Google keeps its eye on all bridge solutions such as QR codes, they will also focus on looking out for that destination solution.