Did Google Wallet succumb to market realities? Why it changed track right after iPhone 5s and bring iOS app

In a major announcement Google brought its wallet app to iOS (download here )

Use the Google Wallet app to send money to any friend in the US with an email address. Plus, you can store your credit and debit cards, loyalty programs, offers, and more

Google is a great consumer technology company and it cant just settle down with search, android and email. They are a great talent magnet and have a conducive environment to let people innovate. And I have been given reasons to believe that Google wants to make our life better around payments. With some mistakes and ability to do course corrections quickly, Google has always been able to improve its products. Example is the improved Google Wallet itself that we wrote about recently.

It may already be an acceptable notion that Google wallet has not been as successful as expected. A part of the problem could have been no presence on iPhones due to Apple’s non-NFC approach. After waiting for two cycles of iphone releases, Google knows it couldn't wait longer to bring Google wallet to iPhone and it had to do it without NFC.

Its hard to understand though that without NFC (POS payments would become difficult) would iPhone and iPad users still appreciate the Google wallet. Well, some experts believe that POS payments can be done in various ways through the app, QR codes and barcodes.

It should be noted that Google had some force behind its effort in the past with Sprint, Mastercard, Citi and First Data but major carriers, networks like Visa and mobile device players were out of the equation. So the choice in front of Google was NFC or the eco-system. I think with the launch of Google wallet iphone app its clear that Google is going after the later. Atleast for now.

New features with new app

Some of the features brought by Google through its latest Google Wallet iOS app version include:

1. Money transfer – P2P transfer and making payments through Google Wallet

2. Scanning QR codes in a loyalty card and storing them in Google Wallet. Acts as an alternative to carry physical loyalty cards.

3. Coupons through tie up with coupon provider Valpak

4. In store offers integrated in Google Wallet through Google+, Google Maps and Google Offers.

Would Google wallet have limited success on iOS?

Google wallet iphone app is not becoming an end to end payment app and nothing less is appealing to the masses. If the wallet is going to be another brick in the wall, a wallet which can store credit card numbers than its success is questionable.

Some of the good things that can put Google wallet in the drivers seat:

Some usual goodies-

- Wallet app has the ability to show you special offers from local merchants. By using your location, the app can advise you of any deals that are available at nearby stores, giving you a chance to save some money—and, presumably, giving Google a chance to charge those store for the privilege of pitching their products to you.

- Wallet kills one problem for sure. If you are forgetful like me than carrying those little keychain tags and cards is an issue and the wallet takes care of that

Google has built a strong set of security features around the Wallet app. You have a PIN number that protects your access, you sync it against your online Google account and you can also disable the app on a stolen device directly from the Web.