Last week, Google showcased to the world that they will be dabbling into banking services, such as, money transfers and checking accounts. For now, these services will only be offered in the United States. The below video demonstrates what they are offering.
What makes Google Wallet special, is that besides cash, it’s the only way to accept money from a customer without having to pay a percentage to a financial institution. For this reason alone, Google Wallet should see wide adoption among retailers. Other than shopping, Wallet may become the most convenient method of wiring money to friends and family. There have been multiple ways of doing this before, but now Google has made it as convenient as sending an email.
The significance of Google’s new service is that throughout history there have been 2 major paradigm shifts with trade and commerce. The first of these being the shift from barter to gold based currency, where the second was the abolishment of the gold standard. Today, what I believe to be the third paradigm shift of commerce is taking place, which is the evolution of currency from an item that we can hold in our hands, to mere numbers stored in a database that represent our wealth.
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