SQUARE CASH LAUNCHES: A lot of you are probably familiar with Square, the company that makes those credit card readers you can plug in to your cell phone. Some of you may have even tried running prepaid debit cards through a Square reader just for the heck of it. Square is now branching out with Square Cash, a service that lets you send money from one debit card to another. [Read more…]
I’ve tried out Google Wallet a bit, and I like it. The primary virtue is that it’s a lot less cumbersome to use than Amazon Payments. If I borrow $20 and want to pay it back, it is literally no more difficult than attaching a file. Amazon Payments, on the other hand, cannot even be accessed from within your Amazon account–you have to do another login.
I’ve tried a few other P2P payment options such as Venmo and they’re more or less similar to Amazon. So hats off to Google for a job well done. Obviously Google will have some work to do in managing certain hobbyists who–holy crap, Dan’s Deals has an entire board devoted to Google Wallet now! Seriously, the DD people are going all-in on this thing, take a look. It’s teenage girls screaming at the Beatles over there.
I am curious to see how the Google vs. the manufacturing spend battle plays out. Google is known for having very clever employees, but they are in what is for them a new line of business, and a lot of very clever people lurk at Fatwallet, Flyertalk, Dan’s Deals, and many other sites.
There are two directions they can go: the Amazon way (okay guys, we’ll put up with a certain amount of this) or the Paypal way (we’re going to hold on to your money for 180 days and then close your account). I recently spent many hours trying unsuccessfully to get a Google AdSense account activated, and came away with the conclusion that Google does not deal with consumers very well.
Google likes things that can be scaled up without having to worry too much about customer service (for small customers, anyway), and they’re pretty good at that, but it’s pretty hard to do consumer finance on a large scale without customer service. Just look at all the financial companies on this “worst companies” list–people get testy when their money’s involved. This, too, makes me curious about how Google will fare.
Of course, while Google is busy with that aspect, I’m pretty sure they’re going to have some fierce competition. Apple, Amazon, and Google have all been encroaching on each other’s turf recently, the goal being to insinuate themselves into your life as much as possible. If you can get into somebody’s wallet, then you’re playing a pretty important role in their life. Amazon and Google have taken the plunge, so what’s Apple going to do, and when are they going to do it?
Just a few days ago, Apple Insider noted a newly-published patent application from Apple:
The details come from a patent application continuation published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday entitled “Payment Options Based on Location.” Discovered by AppleInsider, the filing describes an e-wallet system that would provide users with “smart menus” based on the context of a transaction.
…The NFC functionality could even allow users to easily transfer money to one another using just their iPhones. In one example, two iPhones within range of one another are used to move funds from one person’s account to the other’s.
The filing, published by the USPTO on Thursday, was first made by Apple in September of 2012, but is a continuation of filings dating back to September of 2008.
There are a whole bunch of drawings from the patent application as well. Apparently Apple wants to allow you to finance your friend’s purchases:
How about THAT, Dan’s Deals! And at least one major investment analyst has speculated that an announcement could come this summer:
Apple (AAPL) is reportedly getting ready to make some “surprise” announcements later this year, including the unveiling of a new streaming music service or perhaps a mobile payment system set to debut at the annual WWDC conference this summer. Following a meeting with Apple executives, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty told clients in a note on Thursday that Apple has some new announcements brewing. While Apple’s Internet Software and Service boss Eddy Cue is hard at work trying to improve iCloud and the company’s iOS Maps app, he’s also reportedly working on a few new products that will launch later this year.
First up, Huberty believes Apple has plans to unveil a new Web-based service at WWDC this summer. The analyst couldn’t get a read on exactly what that service will be, but she writes that a streaming music service or a mobile payment system are the most likely candidates.
So many companies competing to get into my wallet! It’s never been a better time to be a personal finance geek. Bring it on, Apple!