Electronic payments have reached a new peak in 2014. In the past year alone, eMarketers estimate that approximately $3.5 billion dollars were transacted through tap-to-pay payments. Analysts estimate that this number will increase to $25 billion in 2016. Though Apple has successfully become the leader in this attractive market, Google is making significant efforts to increase the number of users for their own service.
This week Monday, Google struck a deal with a start-up called Softcard to purchase their electronic wallet technologies and patents to increase the functionality of the existing Google Wallet. These technical improvements will be implemented on devices sold from AT&T, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon Wireless.
Despite the fact that Google was a first mover in this market, they lacked the ability to work with corporations to expand the service’s ecosystem. For example, Apple Pay is accepted in local NYC taxis, convenience stores, department stores and so on. However, Google has lacked to establish its presence in popular consumer retailers.
The competition in this market remains extremely strong. Samsung and other companies have also announced plans to introduce their own version of an electronic wallet. Even PayPal is making efforts to strengthen their presence in mobile platforms. Finally, Alipay has a strong presence among mobile users, especially in Asia.
Still, the future of e-commerce remains unknown. There is still a portion of the population who are doubtful of the security of these services. Perhaps one day their functionality and accessibility will be enough to even replace the needs for physical banks.
-- Gary Li