Shots Fired in Digital Wallet Wars
Digital wallet mavens were abuzz Tuesday with the story that, out of nowhere, Verizon Wireless has told Google to delete its Wallet from the Google Nexus smartphone (via Samsung) that is coming soon to Verizon.
The terse, confirming email from Google’s media relations department to Credit Union Times reads thusly: “We're going with a simple statement of ‘Verizon asked us not to include this functionality in the product.’"
For its part, Verizon Wireless told the WallStreetJournalit is “still negotiating” whether Wallet – the underpinning of Google’s mobile commerce strategy – will be permitted on the phones that run on its network.
Verizon is allied with competing carriers AT&T and T-Mobile in building out the Isis mobile wallet network, a product that directly competes with Google Wallet.
Verizon is the leading cellphone carrier in the U.S. Third-party experts believe that if it persists in blocking Wallet the absence from the Verizon network will be a significant impediment to wide adoption of the Google m-commerce tool set.
The dispute also highlights the jousting of players for both mind- and revenue-share as the m-commerce landscape begins to take clearer shape.