ISIS, Google Wallet Duke It Out
More importantly, ISIS has the support of the four top credit card providers under its belt. While Wallet has secured MasterCard to process payments, ISIS became the first mobile payment provider to ink all four major credit card providers: Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express for support in the United States. Some analysts believe Google may have a trump card that ISIS doesn't: incentive. The search engine will pair Wallet with Google Offers, the Groupon-like daily deals service that is currently live in New York City, San Francisco, the Bay Area and Portland. Google just promoted Offers on Google.com this past week.Of course, Wallet and ISIS aren't the only mobile payment plays. PayPal has one, as industry watchers would logically expect of the payment provider. Unfortunately, so do credit card providers, the same companies partnering with ISIS. There is American Express' Serve, a digital payment platform that blends online, offline and mobile payment options into a single account. Serve will be integrated on mobile phones and tablets from Verizon Wireless. Visa also unveiled a plan to coax retailers to install technology in their POS terminals that processes a card embedded with a computer chip. Consumers will complete transactions with a signature or PIN at the point of sale. Choice is good for consumers, but too much choice without clarity muddies the waters. "The proliferation of different systems may actually make things worse, as it is even more confusing for retailers and consumers now," Greengart said. Another major complication is that there is no indication the majority of consumers are ready to pay by phone. Still, who can blame all of the companies with a stake on the mobile Web for trying to get their piece of the pie? Gartner said worldwide mobile payment users will surpass 141.1 million in 2011, with mobile payment volume expected to top $86.1 billion around the globe.
"At least Google Wallet comes with Google Offers which provides a discount," Current Analysis analyst Avi Greengart told eWEEK. "Mobile payment processors continue to believe that consumers will pay for things using their phones without offering them any incentive to do so."