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14th October 2011

Google wallet open for all banks

Dickson Chu, global head of digital networks and mobile at Citigroup made a robust speech at the recent BAI Retail Delivery conference. In it his main thrust was that for NFC mobile payments to take off you the sector needed mass market solutions.


He made two important points about the mobile wallet under pilot from Google, MasterCard and Citigroup. First that Google had no interest in entering the financial payment market directly. Secondly that it was open for any MasterCard issuing organisation to join. There has been doubt on both of these counts until now. He said that Google would soon issue open APIs to allow other banks to link in and concluded on this point: "There is no exclusivity and no hidden fees. Get ready. Get your technology ready. The Wallet is open. Participate."


He went on to contrast the strides made by this project and by banks in general with that of mobile operators. Attacking the operators he said: "It's unclear what they are trying to achieve, other than extract a toll as gatekeepers. There's so much more that they could do. As it is they are just hampering the development of NFC as a mass-market commercial proposition."