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Amid Apple Pay Hubbub, Google Wallet Scores New Partner

October.21.2014 0 Comments


In case you forgot, Google still offers a mobile wallet, and it is still closing partnership deals.

Google recently added Enterprise Rent-A-Car to its roster of loyalty rewards partners. With Enterprise, a unit of Enterprise Holdings, Google Wallet now counts 15 partners, including Avis, Walgreens and Alaska Airlines.

Google’s loyalty rewards partners allow their rewards cards to be housed in Google Wallet. Google Wallet also facilitates gift cards in its platform, but those are the result of separate partnership agreements.

Despite the Enterprise deal, which does not appear to have been made public, debate continues on Google Wallet adoption rates, and even whether Google Wallet will continue as a product for the online search company. Last week, Google offered little visibility into its Google Wallet performance during its earnings release. Company officials were asked for an update on Google Wallet, “what kind of traction you’re seeing in terms of user adoption and maybe how you plan on addressing merchant payments kind of outside of in-app or things from the app store?” Omid Kordestani, interim chief business officer at Google, shared little:

I think our goal here is really achieving mass merchant adoption, so the availability of these NFC devices is about that and also making it easier for consumers to replace their wallets with their smartphones hopefully more and more over time. So reducing friction in everyday shopping experiences is how we approach it and the focus on the user and we’re really developing a fully functional payment system.

So, as you may know, users can send money today to friends through Gmail using the Wallet app. We have loyalty and gift cards that can be stored in the Wallet app. The Buy with Google button makes it possible for users to make purchases very quickly with two clicks. So, again, it’s this two-fronted focus on merchant adoption and removing the friction for users.

Kordestani later pointed out that partnerships appear to be important to getting “the ecosystem right” to facilitate that Google Wallet adoption.

Enterprise Holdings, which comprises Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo Rent A Car, and National Car Rental, is winning market share from Hertz and Avis, already a Google Wallet loyalty partner, according to market analysts.