Survey: Google will win the mobile payments war

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Most people will tell you that the mobile payments movement is still in its embryonic stages, and that it's way too early to start predicting winners and losers.

Indeed, banks, which do not loom as technology leaders in the movement, would be wise to make sure they spread their bets as card issuers. This will help ensure that they do what they can to position themselves near or at the top of all major digital wallets, hedging their bets.

But not everyone thinks it's too early to make a call about the ultimate winner. According to a recent survey from ACI Worldwide, retail industry managers believe Google is most likely to win the "mobile wallet war." Fifty three percent believe Google will win, 25 percent think PayPal will win and 4 percent expect ISIS to win. Nearly 20 percent, however, believes a new market entrant could "gain traction in this emerging segment." About one-third say that movement looms as impactful in the next 18 months.

Google has done an admirable job scaling up in this market, with its interesting hybrid secure element-cloud approach. And no one doubts its innovative capacity. But it's far too early to handicap the race.

Ultimately, the race will be won less by technology--I expect the NFC and non-NFC entrants to offer savvy technology--and more by partnerships, customer experience and online-offline synergies. It might be Google, but then again it might not. 

For more:
- here's a release

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