Google Australia MD rejects Wallet for ‘more exciting’ projects

Google Wallet will not be arriving on Australian shores any time soon, according to the company’s managing director in the country, Maile Carnegie.

In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Carnegie claimed to have “more exciting” things to focus on, and suggested that the crowded Australian payments market did not offer much room for the company to take advantage of.

Google Wallet was launched in 2011 and was widely expected to establish itself as a major player in the mobile payments space. However since then, the service has failed to live up to the hype, partly due to the limited number of compatible handsets, combined with the lack of backing from major telcos such as At&T, T-Mobile and Verizon.

More recently the company has shifted focus away from NFC towards P2P payments and loyalty scheme in the attempt to woo more users – including those in the lucrative iPhone market. Despite these and other attempts to revive the service, three years after launch it remains only available in the US, with apparently little interest in pushing it into other territories.

Speaking at a Trans-Tasman Business Circle lunch in Sydney, Carnegie said: “I have no plans to launch it in Australia.  My job is to really look and say, ‘what are the big problems or opportunities to solve in Australia?’ and there are much more exciting things on my plate.”

Stopping short of actually criticising the product, she claimed that her efforts were better concentrated elsewhere:

“The innovation eco-system in banking here is actually incredibly robust, so I will always go back to what the consumer needs and where [the need] is greatest,” she said.

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