Google Wallet is a real thing now—here comes the competition

Good for Google Wallet, getting every major credit card to play along. Now comes the tough part.

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The danger for Google, though, is being a first mover that points out the road ahead without getting enough of a lead. Apple will ship a “Passbook” in iOS 6, intended at first as a rewards/store card gathering tool, but you could see a transition to credit/debit cards down the road. But that’s just the technology side. On the commerce and price side, Wallet could find itself in the same situation as innovative mobile payment system Square, currently being fought tooth and nail on percentages and merchant perks by competing services from Intuit, PayPal, and the credit card firms themselves. Once someone proves that customers and merchants will work with a system, it leaves room for others to try and offer a smoother, cheaper system.

In the meantime, I’m loading up my credit cards on Wallet (without too much worry, because you can easily disable your Wallet from any browser) and eager to buy some chips and gas. After that, who knows? Maybe a Five Guys burger and fries. I’m eager to reduce my daily “Wallet, keys, phone” check down to “Keys, Phone-which-is-my-wallet.”

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