Google Wallet and how will this affect us

Google is planning to launch its Google Wallet in at least one major European city during the first half of 2012,as mentioned by Osama Bedier, Google’s vice president of payments so hoteliers have time to see evolution of NFC technology be tested before it reached our doors.

Bedier, who spoke  at the NFC Payments Europe 2011 conference in London, contends the Google Wallet will be open, adding that the search giant has received a welcoming response among service providers and other prospective participants in Europe, even from mobile operators, he told NFC Times in an interview.

“We found that European partners were willing to move faster (than in the United States),” he said. “There is a better understanding of the whole space. The ecosystem is more collaborative than in the States.”

“I doubt that it would be acceptable for the operators in Europe,” Jörg Heuer, who leads the research and development team developing an NFC mobile-wallet program for Germany’s Deutsche Telekom Group, told NFC Times. “For my company, that would create a connection between two brands on a level that is just not what we would like to see.”

Bedier did not say which banks, processors, card networks or mobile operators in Europe that Google has been trying to recruit for its wallet. He said the talks began around the same time as those with U.S. companies.

The search giant plans to make money by charging merchants and other advertisers to deliver targeted offers, including coupons, to consumers, while not charging any fees to banks or other payment service providers it allows into its wallet.

“We started by pulling together a partnership with some of the biggest brands in the U.S.,” he said in response to a question during his presentation today. “And we intend to do that in almost every geography. And if it wasn’t clear from my presentation, our plans are to expand globally.”

This new way of payment method may be there for 2013 and hotel needs to start thinking about this as this could be part of the strategy in terms of sending marketing messages and as a tool that does everything payment marketing and even the key to open your room.

Read more about this on The New York Times

Google Maps vs. Third Parties distribution and how hotels are impacted

So is this the end of third party websites as Expedia, ebookers etc.., is Google taking over the online distribution channels? This may be a bit premature but at least we can say that Google is taking a big step towards dominating the market of information. For instance, they have integrated the quick flight search, which has already had a big impact on the flight industry.

In addition to this, Google has now integrated Google places for the hotel rates for all third party suppliers as ebookers, Expedia, lastminute, etc… and soon they will start distributing directly without passing through the third parties so they will monetize the hotel search with the same PPC model.

Nevertheless, we should not forget that Google is playing the double game, as third parties are their best customers so they need to play along with them.

Google Map Hotel Price

What does this mean for the hotels? As Google has not deployed their deal to independent hotels, it doesn’t really mean much except if you are using Trust International as your CRS, in this case you can definitely start working with them as they are the only ones in the market to propose this services currently.

It should not take too long until their main competitor Micros will propose the same services. But what is more interesting is that in some destinations Google is giving this service to the individual hotel properties so they can access to the interface without passing by other suppliers. Soon we will be able to benefit from a new distribution channel without third parties with a smaller commission compared to the one of the third parties. The hotels themselves will be able to administer this new channel, which will rely on the quality of pictures and contents of the destinations. This will also be a perfect way of checking your rate parity as you will be next to the other third party sites.