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Android

Google Wallet Gets In Bed With Carriers (Editorial)

By Joe Levi March 21, 2012, 7:54 pm

Google Wallet, the app, has had it's ups and downs. Mostly downs. Using your phone's built in NFC chip, Google hopes to turn it into your main payment mechanism — replacing your credit cards and reward cards all in one fell swoop!

Unfortunately it only works (officially) on two phones: the Sprint Nexus S and an unlocked GSM Galaxy Nexus (as long as it's not on T-Mobile). Oh, and it's only in the US. Needless to say, it's not been widely adopted.

Why is that? Lots of phones have NFC chips in them, they could easily get the app and it would work just great! But it's not available for them. Why not?

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Greed.

Google Wallet aside, did you know that when you use your credit card, not only are you charged interest on what you spend (ridiculous amounts, I might add!), but the merchants you buy those goods or services from are also charged? Yup, it's true! There is typically a "transaction fee" and a percentage of the purchase price that the merchant has to pay. This makes the cost of doing business go up for the merchant, and the merchant raises their prices to make up for the lost revenue. So far it sounds like you, the consumer, are getting ripped off, right?

Google saw that they could get in the payment processing game and could take some of that money, just for being the "man in the middle". Hey, that's easy money! However, since you're using your phone to make those purchases with Google Wallet, the carriers wanted in on the action. After all, you're not paying them enough for minutes, texts, data, taxes, and fees as it is.

If recent reports are to be believed, Google is now in "negotiations" with certain carriers to "share" some of the money processed through Google Wallet with them, in the hopes they'll allow Google Wallet on "their" phones. That's some of your money, and just for the "privilege" of using your phone to make purchases. As a reminder, this is the phone that you paid for, on the network that you pay for, and you're making the payment with money that you provided.

Yes folks, the reason we don't have Google Wallet on our phones right now is greed.

Now that I've put it that way, maybe I'll just pay with cash.

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