Remember Google Wallet? No? Chances are that unless you're one of a few Nexus S or Galaxy Nexus users, you don't. I had completely forgotten about it until I picked up my Nexus 7. And since the Nexus 7 is WiFi only, it's virtually useless. However, I was exposed to it again, signed up for it, and then sat there, realizing I had no real world use for it. It's not a widely accepted form of mobile payment. In fact, nothing is.
That's what a few big names in mobile technology are trying to change. The 4 major US Carriers; T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint; along with Google have formed a committee to address a standardization of mobile payments. Jackie Moran, Verizon's executive director of federal relations, chairs the committee that hopes to develop real strategies and procedures for the mobile cash industry.
The committee was announced today by trade group, Electronic Transactions Association. ETA CEO Jason Oxman states, "The idea behind the committee is to get all the players around the table, ask everyone to take off their company hats and put on their industry hats, and talk about what issues need to be resolved."
With no centralized system, many consumers haven't shown interest in mobile payments, keeping developments like Google Wallet and ISIS in their infancy. Nobody can seem to agree on a common system. Oxman hopes the collaboration will change this, "There's definitely a lot of recognition from the tech side and the payments side of the industry that the two sides are converging."
The ultimate goal is to do away with carrier-specific mobile payment options. This would ideally merge various platforms together. Considering that the four major carriers are present along with Google, ISIS (itself a project of several carriers), Verifone, Intuit, and PayPal, the convergence of systems seems feasible.
Worth noting, Square, a huge processor of mobile payments, is absent. This lack of involvement comes after the recent announcement of their partnership with Starbucks. It's unsure if they'll join the party.
The committee will meet later this month. Nobody knows if they'll be able to nail down a single mobile payment solution that works for all interests involved. But if they do, maybe we'll finally be able to pull our Google Wallet out of our back pocket.