American Express: We never agreed to add our credit cards to Google Wallet


Hours after Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) unveiled a cloud-based overhaul of its Wallet contactless payment application trumpeting support for all major credit and debit cards, American Express revealed it never authorized its cards for use with the service.

"We want to make sure Google's mobile wallet product meets the standards we set for our cardmembers in terms of transparency and clarity about transaction detail," American Express Vice President of Social Media Bradley Minor told TechCrunch. "Right now, American Express does not have an agreement with Google for our cards to be used in the Google mobile wallet." Minor added that American Express and Google have formally discussed a mobile payments partnership in the past.

Earlier this week, Google announced consumers may now save their American Express, Visa, MasterCard or Discover card to Google Wallet by entering the card number into the mobile app, online wallet or Google Play storefront. After the card is added, Google partner Bancorp Bank issues a Google Wallet Virtual Card linked to the consumer's account--when the user makes an in-store purchase, Google Wallet processes the merchant payment via the virtual card, then charges the amount of the original purchase to the selected debit or credit card.

TechCrunch states that American Express has taken exception to how Google processes payments, noting that the Google Wallet Virtual Card does not pass along all pertinent purchase information (e.g., merchant name and location) to the original card issuer linked to the Wallet app. The report adds that American Express maintains the right to halt Google Wallet support for its cards at any time, but has not yet taken that step.

"For many years, we've accepted American Express, Visa, MasterCard and Discover for online and mobile transactions," Google said. "The latest version of Google Wallet extends these same benefits to people who choose to use the Google Wallet app to make purchases in-store. We are in active discussions with American Express and look forward to working together as partners as the world embraces digital payments."

First introduced in May 2011, the Near Field Communications-based Google Wallet enables consumers to make purchases by tapping their Android smartphone at more than 200,000 MasterCard PayPass-enabled merchant terminals across the U.S. Google Wallet also includes support for SingleTap, which allows users to redeem coupons and/or earn rewards points, as well as Featured Offers, which spotlights exclusive discounts from select retailers.

American Express is no stranger to mobile commerce, either: Last year the financial services firm introduced the Serve digital payments and commerce platform, which unifies online, offline and mobile payments into a single account that consumers can fund from their bank account, debit, credit or charge card, or by receiving cash from another Serve user. In addition, Isis--the nationwide m-commerce network spearheaded by Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile USA--will support American Express' U.S. Consumer, OPEN Small Business and Serve Cards when its mobile wallet service begins consumer trials later this month.

For more:
- read this TechCrunch article

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