Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) is making gains in mobile loyalty with Google Wallet, which increases the mobile payment provider's ability to compete against Apple Passbook and Samsung Wallet.
Orbitz (NYSE: OWW) recently chose Google Wallet for its new rewards program, which enables users to earn rewards at a higher rate for hotel bookings made from its mobile apps than booking through other channels. Orbitz's rewards program is fully integrated with the Google Wallet loyalty feature for both Android and iOS.
In fact, Google Wallet currently features the most expansive loyalty offering, Lucas Tieleman, CEO/co-founder of mobile wallet ad firm Fosbury, told Mobile Commerce Daily. Consumers can easily enroll in retailers' rewards programs via Google Wallet and brands can easily promote their card in the app, he added.
However, Apple Passbook has the advantage of iPhones' expansive user base and, when Apple provides an iOS update, every user gets the update. "I would say that Apple is taking the lead, mainly because Passbook is pre-installed on every iPhone in the market," Tieleman said. "This gives them a gigantic user base and offers consumers a really easy way to get coupons, loyalty cards, tickets, boarding passes and gift cards on the phone."
At the same time, Google Wallet has just opened up the platform for devices that don't have a Near Field Communication (NFC) chip installed. And, Google Wallet currently lacks support for tickets, gift cards, and boarding passes, according to Tieleman.
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