October 21, 2011
By the ZippyCart Content Team
Google has partnered with New Jersey transit to offer their contactless payment platform Google Wallet for customers purchasing transit tickets at a couple popular train stations. Both New York City’s Penn Station and Newark’s Liberty International Airport Rail Station have implemented the necessary technology to support a tap-and-pay system for customers with Google Wallet. New Jersey transit is the first public transit system to accept payments using Google Wallet. The application, which utilizes near field technology, or NFC, to wirelessly collect payments, will allow customers to purchase transit tickets by simply tapping their phone on a point-of-sale sensor.
Google hopes to reach a large consumer market by offering their innovative payment service in the transit system. Their decision to partner with NJ Transit gives them access to the third largest public transit system in the country, with more than 895,000 bus and rail trips weekly to New Jersey, New York City, and Philadelphia.
In the words of Google vice president of commerce, Stephanie Tilenius:
“Transit is the fastest way to accelerate adoption and reach usage density in major urban centers by habituating the behavior of tapping and paying with phones.”
The announcement of Google’s partnership with NJ Transit comes just days after Google Wallet’s expansion of the SingleTap platform, which gives customers the ability to redeem coupons and/or earn rewards points with one tap of their phone. In addition to several Walgreens and Subway locations who have already implemented the technology, American Eagle Outfitters, The Container Store, Foot Locker, Guess, Jamba Juice, Toys “R” Us, Macy’s, and OfficeMax are also now accepting Google Wallet payments. Chevron, D’Agostino, and Pinkberry have also signed on to begin accepting it.
Using Google Wallet, customers can access and save coupons and loyalty cards to redeem deals and collect rewards points. It aims to enhance convenience for shoppers by eliminating the amount of papers and cards they need to carry around. Google will also be offering exclusive deals for users such as $2 off at Jamba Juice, 15% off at American Eagle, and 10% off at the Container Store. Users can save these offers to their account and then, when a purchase is made, saved deals will automatically be applied.
Though mobile commerce solutions are quickly gaining popularity, Google Wallet has a couple roadblocks to address. One being that the application is only available on Sprint’s Nexus S 4G phone. Also, it only supports Citi MasterCards or Google prepaid cards and is only available at stores using NFC technology.
Before Google can spark universal adoption of electronic wallets, they must increase the availability of their application to several mobile devices. However, the potential success of this technology is unmatched.