"There are 8,500 issuers in the US and literally it will take them a lifetime to actually work through negotiations with all these issuers," Google Wallet's Robin Dua has told developers during an online Q&A session on its recent move to a cloud-based approach to card provisioning.
Google believes it will not prove possible to scale up NFC services like Isis that rely on individual cards being provisioned directly to the secure element on a subscribers' mobile phone, according to Robin Dua, Google's head of product management, consumer payments and wallet.
"Isis has a very different approach than we do," Dua told developers during an online question and answer session to discuss Google Wallet's recent move to a cloud-based approach to NFC. "A number of other wallet providers, and Isis included, are working on direct provisioning of cards from an issuer to the secure element, in their case the SIM in the phone. We just don't think that model is scaleable."
"There are 8,500 issuers in the US and literally it will take them a lifetime to actually work through negotiations with all these issuers," he added.
Other points of interest discussed during the 40 minute session included:
- Additional carrier support for Google Wallet, beyond the current deals with US operators Sprint and Virgin Mobile, is on the cards. "We want Google Wallet to be available on all devices and all platforms and we want to be the preferred way to pay for things," Dua said. "We are working on expanding our carrier distribution and we are actively in negotiations with a number of other carriers and hope to announce some partnerships soon."
- Those additional carriers are expected to include international support for Google Wallet. "We are actively planning the rollout of Google Wallet in other markets," says Dua. "Stay tuned for some announcements there."
- Additional card issuers are expected to announce support for Google's "save to wallet" API in the near future, following Discover's move earlier this month. "We have a bunch of other card issuers that are going to be partners announcing support for these APIs very soon," Dua said.
- Next up is likely to be a suite of tools for smaller merchants to issue and track coupons and loyalty programs, a service referred to by Dua several times during the session. "We're creating some cloud-based tools that will make it easy for small to mid size retailers to create loyalty and coupon programs in a very inexpensive and cost-effective way," he explained.
- The ability for users to pay other individuals via Google Wallet is also under development, but Google is not providing any details yet. "Stay tuned for some announcements there in the next little while," says Dua.
Readers can view the whole 40 minute session below: