Google’s Wallet won’t open for Australia


blog Well, we can’t say we’re surprised, but yet again search giant Google has decided to launch a new service exclusively in the US, leaving Australia out in the cold. This time it’s the company’s mobile payments solution, which is based on the Near Field Communications chips that all the cool smartphones are getting these days (well, apart from Samsung’s Galaxy S II, apparently). The iTech Report writes:

“Google Wallet is currently in a field test in the US only,” a spokesperson from Google Australia said. “We don’t have specific dates to announce today but will keep you posted as we make progress.”

Now sure, we know this is only a trial, but as we’ve previously noted several times, Google’s continual US focus — and the fact that some of the products and services which it launches never end up coming to Australia, where the search giant has a large presence and we love its products — has started to grate a bit. And as we’ve been discussing this week, Australia is a very enthusiastic early adopter of both smartphones with nice NFC chips, as well as the Mastercard PayPass system which Google is using for Wallet.

A quick search of … well, Google, shows PayPass is supported by many large Australian retailers — and that’s without a more detailed scan to see what’s out there. We’ve been seeing these terminals pop up recently quite a bit.

Also, Google, we should point out … Apple always launches all of its products globally. Do you want to be less cool than Apple? Do you? That’s right. You don’t. You want to be cool, and launch things in Australia, so we think you’re cool. That’s cool.

On a more positive note, we also wanted to highlight this particular article, because it was on the iTech Report, a relatively new Australian technology news site which has been kicking goals and taking prisoners recently. You know we love the Australian focus; so check it out here and get subscribed.

Image credit: Robert Scoble, Creative Commons


  1. Unless Steve Jobs swaps from black turtle-necks to plaid pants, Apple will always be cooler than Google.

    Seriously though, you have a point to an extent. Google Voice in Australia would rock, but I suspect the communications laws are a problem there – (ie: majority foreign ownership of what might become a major telco player), and Google Wallet might be from a similar financial industry regulation.

    But they don’t seem to be bending over too quickly to tackle those things, and they should be.

  2. “Apple always launches all of its products globally”

    The iTunes store didn’t launch worldwide at once, neither did the Apple Book store (or whatever they call it). Not to mention the iPad arrived a few months after being available in the US and we missed the entire first generation of the iPhone.

    I’m sure there’s more, but that’s what has come to mind immediately.

    Hardly, “always”, Renai.

    • True!

      However, those things did eventually all launch in Australia — while a lot of Google products have never launched outside of the US. Apple is still more consistent ;)

  3. Reading the US comments of “This will never work, how do you change all those merchants’ equipment?!?” is maddening when EVERY small business I know of that is with ANZ or CBA has upgraded to a payPass/PayWave terminal in the last six months (unless they use the GPRS ones). Not to mention Maccas, Woolies and Bunnings (iconic aussie brands, no?) rolling it out across the country. University of Canberra did a deal at the start of this year with CBA to get all the printers/photocopiers/food outlets payPass enabled along with rolling out co-branded CBA/UC debit/ID cards for staff and students.
    If there’s a market that’s ready for this, it should be Australia or Singapore.

  4. Yes – finally someone starting to complain about this.

    It’s particularly grating for Android. While most handsets have carriers and handset manufactures all conspiring to leave us month behind in Australia, Google had a chance to do something different with the Nexus branded phones – but those were never sold in Australia through the Google website. Instead they end up here almost a year later on Vodafone.

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