Report: Google in talks with Deutsche Telekom to extend Wallet overseas
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has met with Deutsche Telekom to discuss expanding its Wallet mobile payment platform to the European market, Bloomberg reports.
Deutsche Telekom Chief Product and Innovation Officer Thomas Kiessling said the operator has met with a number of credit card companies and banks as it looks to expand its mobile commerce capabilities. "We're talking to other players in the market, and even a cooperation with Google is theoretically possible," Kiessling said, adding "We're in talks there as well" but declining to specify details. Google declined to comment.
On Monday, Deutsche Telekom--which serves 93 million subscribers across its European footprint--announced a new mobile payment partnership with MasterCard. Later this year, the two firms will kick off Near Field Communications-based payment trials in Poland, with plans to unveil a full-fledged mobile wallet service in other markets in early 2013. MasterCard is a key Google Wallet partner.
Kiessling said that 57 percent of all retail purchases in Europe are made using cash, creating an enormous opportunity to roll out contactless payment technologies. He noted that Deutsche Telekom plans to smooth the transition from cash to mobile commerce by installing NFC-enabled point-of-sale terminals in stores.
Google Wallet went live in May 2011, but has struggled to gain traction in the U.S. Although Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) has introduced a handful of Android smartphones supporting the tap-and-pay service, Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile USA have shunned Google Wallet as they continue building out their own nationwide m-commerce network, Isis, slated to begin consumer trials later this year. Recent reports also indicate Sprint is planning its own rival contactless payment initiative, casting doubt on how Google Wallet fits into its plans moving forward.
In March, Bloomberg reported Google is considering sharing Wallet revenues with operators to expand the service to additional Android devices and galvanize consumer adoption. Another possibility under consideration, sources told Bloomberg: Google may sidestep operators altogether, relying more heavily on in-store point-of-sale systems to process Google Wallet transactions.
- read this Bloomberg article
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