Google Wallet Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The US financial news organisation Bloomberg was reporting yesterday that Google is considering improvements to Google Wallet – the company’s mobile payment platform. Google Wallet allows smartphone users to pay for goods and services using credit card and other payments platforms, pre-assigned to their Google Wallet accounts.
In an interesting twist, Google is apparently (according to Bloomberg) considering giving network operators a share of the payment action to encourage adoption. To date, adoption has been sluggish.
Some operators have been making noises that they may enter the payment fray by offering direct operator billing. Telefonica recently invested in mobile payments vendor Boku. (See here).
Many mobile market watchers believe that it may take a little time for mobile wallets and payments to take off – requiring widespread adoption of NFC (near field communication) enabled phones.
Leading VCs like Andreessen Horowitz have taken part in the $35m round.
Mobile operator Telefonica and a host of other investors including New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Andreessen Horowitz, Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures, Index Ventures and Khosla Venture have taken part in an investment round with direct operator billing start-up Boku.
The round totals some $35m and clearly shows the growing interest in a direct operator billing as a competitor to other mobile payment solutions wrapped around credit card or payment gateways.