To those of you in the US, stop reading this and go outside for Memorial Day! Unless you're in the Midwest, in which case you should probably hide because Mother Nature still seems to be pissed off about something. But if you're still here, let's take a moment and contemplate Google Wallet. Because I just don't get it.
The new mobile payment system took the market by storm last week, and immediately came under fire from multiple sides. Paypal went as far as to accuse Google of stealing their technology, apparently via the poaching of a top executive. What!? In Silicon Valley? Say it ain't so... Paypal immediately filed a lawsuit, which is of course the American way. Meanwhile, the security community went after the soft underbelly of the whole concept. Seeing as Android has proven to be rather vulnerable to malware already in its young lifetime, the idea of storing important financial and identity data on devices powered by it has obvious risks.
But really, somebody help me understand this whole mobile payment thing. All this hoopla so that we can switch what we swipe at Shop Rite into something larger, heavier, harder to replace, and arguably less secure. So that we have the convenience of having a deeper and more fulfilling relationship with either
a) a carrier we already *hate* to call for help (your call is important to us, please say your sixteen digit number again followed by the word 'bubble' in order to help our associate not be ready when they are finally available),
b) an online company that doesn't even list a phone number on its contact page (we'll respond to your email within the next 24-72 hours, thank you!) and has been famous for not having call centers and for advanced voice-to-text automation that will probably read like 'This is Google Walkup calling about your conch. We have detracted supercilious activity on your credit carp, which has now been liberated. To restore your conch, please immediately [unintelligible] or we will be forked to make this status peppermint."
c) the same bank people we already call when we lose our card, except now we lost our phone too and they aren't quite sure they care. (Can you hold while I transfer you to an agent that knows what an HTC Thunderbolt is?)
Is it just that it's cool and mobile? I can see the attraction on the corporate side, but as a consumer, why do I want this?
If you haven't already, please take our Reader Survey! Just 3 questions to help us better understand who is reading Telecom Ramblings so we can serve you better!Categories: Internet Traffic · Wireless