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Even Vending Machines Intrigued by Google Wallet, But Other Contenders Still Circle

Coca-Cola is piloting a program entailing 200 vending machines with Google Wallet in which consumers use their mobile device to buy a drink, Wendy Clark, senior vice president of integrated marketing communications and capabilities at the company, told the audience at ad:tech.

"The combination of mobile commerce and location technology moves our business from the point of sale to the point of thirst,” she said, via Mobile Commerce Daily. "If we know where you are and that you are thirsty we can move you to the nearest outlet to quench that thirst."

With even Coke backing Google Wallet, it seems as thought the near-field communication wars are on thebrink of being settled.

Other Contenders

Not quite, a new report from Celent finds.  "There will be multiple competing wallets at the retail point of sale with customers being the ultimate judges of their success," it says.

Expect the battle to be fought along four points, it said.

1. POS communication technologies: which technologies should be used to communicate the payments credentials to the merchant's POS: NFC vs. QR codes vs. sound-based data transfers, etc.?

2. Secure element location: where should the payments credentials be stored-inside the phone (with further options) vs. the cloud?

3. Payment account: which account is going to be used to settle with the merchant - card vs. bank account vs. mobile network operator (MNO) vs. a new scheme, etc.?

4. Wallet interface and service provision: whose app will the customer use more - the one offered by the wallet provider or by the provider of the payment credentials?

PayPal's Model Doesn't Bother with a Phone

Some providers, such as PayPal, are offering solutions that dispense with the seemingly essential mobile device.  It is planning to launch a payment card of its own, dubbed PayPal Wallet. Expected out within the next year, it will let a user adjust the payment source after the purchase.

It will also use technology acquired from Where to alert customers for deals and discounts at establishments within the vicinity. (via CMS Wire).

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