Deutsche Telekom mulls mobile wallet deal with Google

Deutsche Telekom (DT) is holding talks with Google over expanding its mobile payments system that could see the two firms working together on mobile wallet services.

google wallet

Click here to watch Google's video on the launch of its Wallet offering.

The German telco's chief product and innovation officer, Thomas Kiessling, confirmed the company has already held discussions with a number of credit card companies and banks as it looks to expand its mobile commerce capabilities, according to Bloomberg.

"We're talking to other players in the market, and even a co-operation with Google is theoretically possible," Kiessling said, adding, "We're in talks there as well," without detailing potential areas of co-operation.

Involving a wider array of payment partners with its m-wallet initiative could attract more customers, Kiessling said, but he warned that only a few of the 50 to 60 m-wallets platforms being promoted today by banks and software developers will survive. The DT executive said that co-operation with other telcos to standardise m-wallet technology only makes sense in the medium term once a certain level of acceptance among consumers is reached.

"In many areas you shouldn't wait for standardisation, because that's how the telcos missed a series of innovations over the past 10 years," Kiessling said. "We tried to standardise advanced messaging globally and in the end other industries were faster."

While Google has not commented on any discussions with DT, it is thought that the company is willing to consider a revenue sharing model with operators given the slow uptake of its Google Wallet service that was introduced in the United States last year.

This indication that DT might form an alliance with Google comes shortly after the company announced a partnership with MasterCard to launch an m-payment platform that allows customers to pay for goods and services with their mobile phones. MasterCard said its products will be issued through DT's subsidiary ClickandBuy, which owns an e-money licence, and will be deployed initially in Poland later this year, according to Dow Jones Newswires

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this Wall Street Journal article (sub. req.)

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