When the Nexus S first launched, many of us were wondering in just what ways we’d end up using the uncommon-at-the-time NFC transceiver. Upon the announcement of Google Wallet last spring, it seemed like NFC might have found its killer app. In the months that followed, though, we didn’t see Google Wallet take off like the company might have hoped, and despite the arrival of more and more phones supporting NFC, carriers have been making it very difficult for users to install and use the app. Now Google’s thinking about how it might turn the tide on Wallet, and is considering sharing Wallet revenue with carriers in order to bring them over to its side.
Verizon and AT&T are the big guys Google has its eyes on for Wallet, which currently isn’t available on phones from either carrier due to their interest in the competing Isis payment system. Bloomberg reports that Google is considering giving the carriers a portion of the income it makes when users accept special offers from participating retailers. While that wouldn’t stop them from continuing to support Isis, it might convince them to at least let it co-exist with Wallet.
There’s some irony to all this in that the very systems making it so difficult for smartphone owners to install Wallet on their phones despite carrier disapproval are those created and maintained by Google itself. Somehow, we don’t think it’s about to change anything about that and risk upsetting the carriers, so we’ll have to settle for the hope that Google might follow-through with these deals and Wallet may someday finally be available to more of us.