Google Wallet: your personal data is the priority

Google Wallet banner

The differences between Apple and Google’s strategies in the mobile space couldn’t be more obvious. One company is making a big bet on privacy. The other, is making a big bet on everything but privacy. These strategies give each companies different priorities, and mobile payments is once again a clear illustration of that.

Apple clearly states that absolutely no data is collected or shared when making purchases with Apple Pay. As Tim Cook said before, the transaction is just between you and the merchant. No one in between. Your privacy is one of Apple’s priorities.

Google, on the other hand, has different priorities when it comes to mobile payments. Based on its long-time business model, Google wants to collect data about what you buy so it can serve you more targeted ads.

The Wall Street Journal has a fascinating look at Google’s attempt to revive Google Wallet to compete with Apple Pay. I’ll spare you the details of the hurdles the company is facing due to the fragmentation of Android, but I do want to highlight one point of the story, which clearly illustrates the difference in priorities between Apple and Google.

Back in 2010, the three major US carriers AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile started working on their own mobile payment system called Softcard. The project failed and now Google is interested in picking up the pieces to use it as part of the Google Wallet revival.

But the carriers still want a slice of the mobile payment market, and Google is willing to give them just that. Of course, Apple doesn’t share any of the revenue generated through Apple Pay with carriers (why would they?), but Google is now approaching and luring them with an offer they can’t refuse.

The WSJ has the money quote explaining “Google is offering to pay them to feature Wallet prominently on their Android phones and is dangling the promise of more revenue from advertising tied to Google searches made on the phones.”

Google technically doesn’t care about making your purchases faster or safer, but Google cares greatly about collecting data about your purchases so it can display even more targeted ads for you when you search the web for example.

Priorities indeed.

For a complete look at the story, hop over to the WSJ.