Analysis and Recommendations on Google Wallet for Health

Analyst: Mitch Cross, Director, Search Engine Marketing and Tracey Riper, Account Manager

Background: Google has announced the launch of a new product, Google Wallet, which essentially allows people to use their smartphone for in-store purchases, automatic coupon redemption, loyalty card use, and other to-be-determined applications.

Industry Implications: Google Wallet allows marketers a look directly into consumers’ wallets to see exactly how and when they shop. This heightens our ability to determine how purchases are made on a micro-demographic level.

Recommendation: At launch it is only available on one device (Nexus S from Sprint) and one credit card company (Citi MasterCard) is signed up with them. However most next generation smart phones, including the iPhone 5, are expected to have NFC technology embedded. It will also take time for merchants to install the necessary NFC-reading technology to accept this form of payment.

We recommend partnering with Google early to explore possibilities behind the scenes. Although some initiatives would be too close to behavioral targeting for comfort, others (such as digitizing care cards) would offer convenience for consumers without treading too close to regulatory snafus. We at CMI are moving forward with exploring these possibilities with Google and will continually update our clients to opportunities.