Saturday, March 3, 2012

Target, Walmart plot mobile payment service to challenge Google Wallet, Isis


Walmart Stores, Target and about two dozen other retailers have joined forces to develop a mobile payment system that will compete with Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Wallet and Isis, the wireless operator mobile payment initiative spearheaded by Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), AT&T (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile USA. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, citing several unidentified sources with direct knowledge of the deal, the retailers are unhappy with the inroads being made by Google and the wireless operators and want to get an upper hand in this fast-moving space.
There are few details about the retailer initiative and when it will launch. In a statement to the Journal,Target said: "We are exploring potential solutions that would help us to deliver the fastest, most secure mobile-payment experience possible for our customers."
The retail group will have to move quickly if it wants to compete with Google Wallet and Isis, which have been working hard to expand their scope and form partnerships with device makers, financial services firms and others. Google Wallet has announced that 22 of the largest U.S. retail chains support its initiative, which enables consumers to make purchases by tapping their Android smartphone at 300,000-plus MasterCard PayPass-enabled merchant terminals.
Likewise, Isis has said it plans to test its service in Salt Lake City and Austin, Texas, this year. Like Google Wallet, the NFC-based Isis will enable consumers to conduct point-of-sale transactions, redeem coupons and use store merchant loyalty cards via mobile device. Isis has pledged to open its system to all interested credit issuers and banks; in July it welcomed financial services providers Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express to its ranks.

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