Orange: Google Wallet could confuse consumers

Orange: Google Wallet could confuse consumers
This phone is floating. Phones will not float in the future

Orange has told TechRadar that while it's pleased to see more players getting involved in the NFC space, it's wary of Google Wallet confusing customers.

Jason Rees, Director of Mobile Payments & Ticketing at Everything Everywhere, told us that Google will have some challenges in the market if it's to make a success of NFC, especially being able to help consumers when they need more information:

"From a market perspective, we're very pleased as more choice is better for the consumer. However, with more parties it can get confusing, especially as there's no standardised solution.

"The critical issue is one of owning the customer relationship - we have over 28 million customers on board, and maintaining that relationship is a critical factor [for NFC success]."

Technology problem

Orange has been one of the more aggressive networks with regards to NFC deployment in the UK, and uses a dedicated SIM card combined with the inbuilt NFC chip in its capable phones.

Rees told us that having two competing technologies in the market could make it difficult for the contactless technology to gain traction with consumers, and that a standardised method needs to be found:

"It's going to be a challenge for Google to create that customer relationship. It's a different situation between SIM-based and embedded NFC - you can't port it over between devices in the same way our system can, simply by switching over your SIM card.

"It's very easy to confuse the customer [over SIM vs embedded NFC technology] and with those like RIM looking at a dual strategy it can be a challenging story to deliver."

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.