Are Google dropping the ball on Wallet?
Google Wallet has been around for a while now yet it hasn't really developed an awful lot since it's inception. Conversely, competitors are ramping up their development of competing systems in order to cash in on the mobile payment space, which is bound to see huge growth over the next few years.
Google have a great head start and need to utilise this in order to firmly establish themselves as the mobile payment system to beat. However there is now growing competition - Isis being developed by US carriers, a system being set up by retailers like Walmart and Target, PayPal are making their moves and of course there's Square which continues to grow.
What I don't understand is why Google aren't moving to expand their service. For starters it's available on something like 2 phones? Why not all Nexus S users? Or all Galaxy Nexus users? Why not the Samsung S II? The product works fine so I don't see the advantage of holding back like this. In fact it's a major disadvantage because when other systems launch with less restrictions Google will be left behind. The same thing occurs geographically. I am a Galaxy Nexus user in the UK but Google Wallet hasn't launched here. The phone is capable, the infrastructure is already in place, and the product works. People who've installed Google Wallet here have used their free $10 to buy things in any of the thousands of PayPass-using businesses across the UK. So again, what is the reason for this?
In the same way that Google Music is failing, without expansion Google Wallet will also fail when the competition arises and the popularity of mobile payments increases. Google scratches it's head and wonders why Google Music is losing customers weekly and failing to meet expectations. A large and obvious factor is that it's restricted to one country in the entire world compared to competing services like iTunes.
I really feel like Google need to step it up before they get swamped by competitors with superior products. They had the foresight and initiative that has allowed them to be at the forefront of this sector; they just need the ambition and will to expand whilst they still have the advantage.