Discover Financial Services recently announced their partnership with Google Wallet allowing cardholders to use their Discover cards within the Google Wallet application for Near Field Communication (NFC) payments at the point-of-sale as well as through using Google Wallet online. The key feature of this partnership is that Discover customers can login and save their credit card to Google Wallet via Discover’s existing online account access system for cardholders.
On August 1 Google announced that their Google Wallet would be open to all card brands and issuers as they changed their technical approach from storing payment credentials securely in the mobile device to storing them remotely on their secure servers. While this new process means easier integrations for issuers, allowing them to add their cards to the wallet within weeks, no major issuers announced doing so until Discover made it official on August 16. With Google’s Save to Wallet API, which Discover has integrated, cardholders can sign in to their account with their issuer or financial institution online and directly send their payment credentials to be stored for use within Google Wallet. Google Wallet is mainly discussed as a mobile wallet, but is in fact an e-wallet as well. Google rebranded Google Checkout under the Google Wallet name and Discover cards can be used to fund Google Wallet transactions online as well.
Until recently Citi was the only issuer supporting POS payments with Google Wallet and the mobile payment application has yet to achieve substantial adoption with lack of supported payment options and lack of compatible, NFC-enabled mobile devices cited as the major reasons. Being limited to a prepaid MasterCard or Citi MasterCard for payment methods, as Google Wallet had been for most of its existence, likely prevented many consumers from trying it out, but Google can now draw on Discover’s large base of cardholders as it is the fourth largest issuer in the United States and will continue to offer their cash back rewards incentives to cardholders using Discover within Google Wallet. Additionally, the concept of a consumer being able to add their credit card to Google Wallet from their issuer or bank’s online system will likely spur increased adoption of Google Wallet as well. A substantial portion of consumers log in to their issuer’s online account access system to pay bills and check statements at least once per month, and will now be shown the option to add their credit card to Google Wallet, something they may not have thought they were able to do. Look for Google to sign up and announce more issuers supporting their Save to Wallet API over the coming months as they try to secure a head start in the mobile payments race.
For more information:
Official Press Release: Discover Brings Google Wallet to Its Cardmembers