American Express Does Not Support Google Wallet
Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) announced this week that Google Wallet users can now use any major debit or credit card from Visa (NYSE: V), MasterCard (NYSE: MA), Discover (NYSE: DFS), or American Express (NYSE: AXP).
However, it seems that Google might have made this offer without getting the approval of these credit card providers. According to TechCrunch, American Express does not currently have an agreement with Google that allows its cards to be used in the company's mobile wallet. Google responded to this revelation by telling TechCrunch that it is currently in "active discussions" with American Express to address the issue.
For the time being nothing changes; American Express cardholders can still make purchases through Google Wallet.
Going forward, Google might have to approach the situation with a bit more caution. The search engine giant already got into trouble in December when it attempted to roll out the service. Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ) responded to Google's venture by banning the feature from its network. Consequently, customers who purchased the Verizon version of the Galaxy Nexus could not use one of Google's most prominent features.
At the time, Verizon was in the process of developing a mobile payment platform with T-Mobile and AT&T (NYSE: T). The platform was expected to receive help from Discover Financial Services to process payments and Barclays PLC (NYSE: BCS), which would become a bank partner.
After Verizon prevented its subscribers from using Google Wallet, Google was largely expected to lose the mobile payment battle. The company pushed on and with a cloud-based version now up and running, it seems that there is little anyone can do to stop Google from becoming a significant player in this market.
That could change if the discussions with American Express do not end well. According to TechCrunch, American Express has the ability to shut down its service and prevent it from being used with Google Wallet. This could make life difficult for Google, which needs the help (or at least the support) of American Express and other credit card providers in order to make Google Wallet a success. Without them, Google would have to launch a mobile payment service entirely on its own.
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