Gift and loyalty cards out: Is Google Wallet next on the Google chopping block?

Gift and loyalty cards out: Is Google Wallet next on the Google chopping block?

Summary: Google added services to Wallet over the last couple of years, but is now starting to pull them back with gift and loyalty cards being removed this month.

Gift and loyalty cards out: Is Google Wallet next on the Google chopping block?

Google is known for shutting down services at will with Google Reader being the latest casualty. Google sent emails to existing Google Wallet customers stating that gift and loyalty card support will be pulled out from Google Wallet on 21 August.

After I discovered all the PayPass locations I could use with Google Wallet I started using it regularly. Google slowly opened up Wallet to any credit or debit card and then added loyalty and reward cards to the mix. With the upcoming removal of loyalty and gift cards, lack of hardware support on their newest device, and lack of carrier support for Google Wallet while backing ISIS it looks to me like Google Wallet may be one of the next services put out to pasture.

I used Google Wallet on a Nexus devices, but very few other Android phones I tried after that even supported Wallet. Much of that was due to lack of carrier support too. As a person who likes to demonstrate functions on their phones, I enjoyed the experience of tapping to pay for items and then showing it off to the clerk at the store. My phone is also always with me while I find carrying a wallet to be an inconvenience.

The addition of gift and loyalty cards was great, but at the time it was released I did not have an Android smartphone I used that supported that. I would love to have lightened my physical wallet with these cards integrated into my phone and actually I do that now through the FidMe application on multiple platforms (Android, WP8, iOS) since Google Wallet didn't work out.

ISIS has yet to make its full debut outside of a few test areas and with Apple not yet supporting NFC the move to mobile wallets is moving at a snails pace. Samsung is rolling out their Samsung Wallet solution on select Galaxy devices and it looks to be a iOS Passbook clone, complete WITHOUT NFC support.

The mobile wallet space is full of these fragmented solutions and until someone can step up and promote a consolidated message I don't think we will ever see any of them reach the ideal mobile wallet solution some of us want.

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Topics: Mobility, Android, Google, Smartphones, Tablets

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  • Not on chopping block

    Google just added a new feature were you can send money to a friend via gmail using google wallet. -
  • Not on chopping block

    Google just added a new feature were you can send money to a friend via gmail using google wallet. -
  • Whatever the wallet solution, it won't be Google

    The carriers and retail card groups will never rally behind a Google technology. Apple could clear the standards battle up and it won't use Google either. So, yeah, it is a safe bet that Google Wallet isn't long for the world.
    • "Apple could clear the standards battle up..."

      And the world should rally around Apple to do this because why?
      • Because

        They are proven innovators and drivers. Think about where the smartphone market was prior to Apple introducing the iPhone. Think about where the portable music player market was prior to the iPod. Think about where the tablet market was prior to the iPad. The smartphone market was stagnant and since 2006 it's boomed. Same thing with the portable music player market. The tablet market was non existent until Apple created it with the iPad. So why should the world not rally around Apple to do this?
        • Well, that may be (and you'll get a lot of argument it's not)

          But what's undeniable is that Apple has millions and millions of credit card numbers on file, and huge numbers of users that are already very comfortable with purchasing through Apple's ecosystem. If Apple were to a buy a mid-sized bank or other clearing house it would instantly be a major player in electronic payments.
  • Gift and loyalty cards out: Is Google Wallet next on the Google chopping bl

    Yes it is. Look at Google's history of products and services. They keep them for 6 months then retire the service. Google Wallet will be no different. The Google employees would much rather play with their office toys than try to maintain a service. Google is a one trick pony and only has search to rely on.
    • Picasa?

      I've been happily using this Google product and others for years. I don't own a Nexus phone or use Android, yet they've been around for more than 6-months.

      Successful businesses need to innovate. When a new product fails (many do), they need to cut it loose. This isn't unique to Google.
  • Don't use google services

    Google is a shoddy company with unethical and illegal practices. Stay away from their services and take control of your privacy.

    Check this video to figure out yourself
    • That's right!

      Use only Microsoft! Because Microsoft has done NO wrong - right Owlnet? /sarcasm
  • Not on the chopping block yet...

    Wallet will at least remain as a payment processor for purchases. It remains to be seen if NFC will ever really take off.
  • Strategic Significance

    I'm certainly no expert on Google (no desire for that, either), but I remember reading a little while back how Google had a "problem" because several competitors had so many credit cards they had stored (Amazon, iTunes, XBOX Live, etc.), while Google didn't have people's financial information, and that put them at a disadvantage for certain business opportunities. It seems like they wouldn't want to cede what ground they gained since then too easily.