ITIF Welcomes Mobile Wallet As Advance in Mobile Payments

September 20, 2011

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation has issued the following statement on the announcement of Mobile Wallet:

“Mobile payments make life easier for consumers, merchants, and transit authorities and open the pathway to yet more innovation and new business models. It’s time for the United States to catch up to a number of countries where mobile payments are already part of daily life. Google’s announcement is a significant step in the right direction.”


Mobile phones and devices have revolutionized the way we purchase and consume books, music, and movies. Such electronic wallets empower mobile phones to fully replicate physical wallets, with the ability to make contactless payments; to capture and transmit data like transit, movie, or parking tickets; to check in to offices, schools, or airport gates; and to store and present identification credentials. But, as ITIF’s reportExplaining International IT Application Leadership in Contactless Mobile Payments made clear, the United States has long trailed countries such as Japan, South Korea, and Singapore in using mobile phones as electronic wallets that enable mobile purchases and payments. In contrast, 78 million Japanese use mobile-wallet enabled cell phones, and China will have 400 million in place by 2013. The Google Wallet application leverages near field communication (NFC) technology to allow customers to make purchases simply by swiping their phone across any NFC-enabled point-of-sale terminal, such as at fast food and retail stores, vending machines, or taxi cabs. Transactions can either be charged to a Citibank/Mastercard credit card or debited from a Google Prepaid debit card. Google’s Mobile Wallet also stores loyalty cards and will soon be able to house transit cards, train and airplane tickets, movie tickets, etc.


The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) is a Washington, D.C.-based think tank at the cutting edge of designing innovation strategies and technology policies to create economic opportunities and improve quality of life in the United States and around the world. Founded in 2006, ITIF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, non-partisan organization that documents the beneficial role technology plays in our lives and provides fact-based analysis and pragmatic ideas for improving technology-driven productivity, boosting competitiveness, and meeting today's global challenges through innovation. For additional information, visit ITIF at or contact Steve Norton at (202) 626-5758 or [email protected].