Google has been pushing its contactless payment system for about a year now, without great adoption numbers. Even a quick, informal survey around the Valley shows little excitement for a new way to pay for things; a barista I quizzed at a Peet’s in Los Altos revealed that only 5 of the hundreds of industry regulars tap to take care of the tab for their daily cup-o-joe. If adoption is slow in the Silicon Valley, it’s got to be nonexistent in the “real world”.
Google’s hoping that they can make it popular by repositioning the Wallet service. They’re hoping that by sharing revenue with wireless carriers, they can get extra promotion for the service. Carriers meanwhile are busily preparing their own payment system using NFC technology called ISIS. Google is hoping to head them off at the pass by making their system more attractive. But, other than for transit cards like the ever-so-useful Clipper card, does anyone actually need their phone to double as their wallet? Seriously.