Google Wallet rollout going "kind of slow," Google rep says

And adding credit cards to Google Wallet is slower than normal

Google Wallet has run into technical glitches, although the extent of the problems is not clear.

Google's Web site says the new mobile payment service is having "slower than normal wait times to add [credit and debit] cards to Google Wallet."

Also, Google Wallet over-the-air updates to Nexus S smartphones are going slowly and the app did not reach all users by late Friday, when Google had said last week the update would be rolled out.

A Google Help Desk representative named Dave said via phone on Saturday at 7:36 a.m. (ET): "The [Google Wallet] rollout is kind of a slow rollout. They are still working on that. There's no specific time frame for when it will be complete. You should see it soon."

Computerworld called the Help Desk to see why a Nexus S phone in hand had not received the Google Wallet by Friday night, four days after Google Wallet was officially launched .

Two Google spokesmen were asked to comment on the status of the rollout and the wait times for adding cards to Google Wallet, but did not respond as of mid-day Saturday.

A Google spokeswoman had said Wednesday, that "100% of users should have the update by EOD Friday" after earlier saying the update would be completed on Wednesday.

Google launched Google Wallet last week, saying there would be an over-the-air rollout of the Google Wallet app and that the service was "now available on Nexus S 4G on Sprint."

A Sprint spokesman referred inquiries about the rollout to Google. Other partners in the venture could not be reached to comment.

Lengthy wireless software rollouts are common, usually taking several days so networks won't get jammed, analysts said. Google and various Android smartphone wireless carriers have come under fire for requiring Android OS version updates, but mainly for promising the rollouts would start at a certain time and then delaying the start of the rollout.

Consumer Reports blogged on Wednesday that Google had rushed to get the first digital wallet on the market, adding that Google's "promotional promises seem to have gotten a little ahead of themselves."

Such a delay might not normally be a concern, except that Google and its partners -- Sprint, MasterCard, Citi and First Data -- put enormous time and money into the Google Wallet app.

The idea of being first in the U.S. with a major rollout using Near Field Communications technology inside smartphones is notable. The stakes are high: the long-term future of mobile wallets is expected to be lucrative, worth many billions of dollars in the U.S., to banks that collect transaction fees and to technology companies such as Google that receive revenues for making coupons and other offers available to users.

Analysts questioned how serious the delay really is, and how many users are already connected. They also questioned whether the wait times for adding credit cards could be a sign of a bigger problem with the complex network, systems and the money exchange infrastructure behind Google Wallet.

The Google Wallet Web site first posted a notice on Wednesday of the problem in adding credit cards to the app, the same notice that was still live today.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com .

Read more about mobile apps and services in Computerworld's Mobile Apps and Services Topic Center.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Mobile Apps and ServicesGoogleconsumer electronicssmartphonesfinanceFinancial Servicesindustry verticals

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Hamblen

Computerworld (US)

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?