Mobile wallet battle heats up among PayPal, Apple, and Google

Google is upping the stakes in the battle for online transactions by rolling out a service that allows Gmail users to send money and sign up for Google Wallet. Apple and PayPal are pushing their own versions of one-click pay services.

Bart Ah You/The Modesto Bee/AP/File
Domino's Pizza, including this restaurant in Turlock, Calif., can use Google Wallet to pay for their online orders.

Domino's Pizza is now accepting payment via Google Wallet. You can pay for your pizza with your Android app.

That might not sound like big news but it signals a significant move in the battle for how you make your transactions.

Google has started to roll out a service that allows Gmail users to send money to anybody they desire. When you sign up for this feature, you become part of Google Wallet, and Google will have indirect access to your bank account and credit card information.

With approximately 500 millions users, Gmail has about the same number of users as Facebook. But Google has the ability to put a "Pay Now" button on YouTube, Google Maps, or Google News, similar to what PayPal currently does. If you log in to Google and have a Google Wallet account, then you could purchase things with one click if the site is set up for Google Wallet.

The way you make transactions in the future is shaping up as a huge three-way battle among PayPal, Google Wallet and Apple. You store your bank and credit card information with these systems, and then really never have to deal with the account information again. If you are on a website and want to pay for something, you simply click the PayPal, Google, or Apple button, and you are done.

Apple and Google may eventually be the leaders with the way they have developed their smart-phone operating systems, iOS and Android. Your phone becomes your wallet and has all your bank and credit card information securely stored in it. You just wave your smart phone at the register and verify it in some way – possibly a fingerprint scan – and the transaction is complete.

Moves toward this new type of system have been taking place for some time. But with the addition of new merchant partners to Google Wallet and the invention of the cash-transfer system with Gmail, the giants are stepping up the battle for your transactions.

– Bill Hardekopf is founder of, an online credit-card information site.

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