Well it has been a bit since I added some new material to the blog sphere and it turns out that when you take a minute off the world goes crazy. This will be a quick hit style post with the 3 biggest events that I have been watching so bear with me it might be long.
Maybe it was the relative failure of Groupon StoreFeed or the fact that Living Social blew up DC with their Instant feature but Groupon Now is working the mobile angle hard. I have it on my phone and I have yet to actually use or redeem it. My comments are that I am annoyed with their daily push notification and can’t figure out how to turn it off. Outside of general distance the deals are not targeted at all and are hard to scan through in list view. You have to swipe in each sub-category and I would even say that it is arduous to view each deal. I am hungry, so give me the sort or a map for the love of god.
All that being said it is a compelling feature and certainly extends the available inventory for Groupon which is a big deal. It is also time based and that is interesting as it helps merchants move inventory in the way they want rather than bursty.
Next up Google Wallet, and this was one of the few times that Google spent a ton of effort getting ready for this launch. They paraded a series of partners in the ecosystem on stage and showed some whiz bang functionality. I am not sure that have a figure like Steve Jobs but the team did a nice job with the flow and presentations. They have good names and will start to pull in some interesting stuff with interaction, loyalty replacement, offers and NFC.
The big but is that it is a very small install base for the Nexus S and the sticker thing ain’t gonna fly. You can ask Bling Nation to see how that experiment went. They have them beat by partnering with Mastercard PayPass. You can see a video about some consumer challenges they will face here.
Last up Durbin Act is going through and people have to face the music. What happens in the eco-system? Will the payment networks support multi-tier pricing? How will the merchants react to payment steering and do the consumers actually win in the end.
My prediction is that it will help small banks and credit unions if they move fast and take advantage. I also think that it will add a boost to merchant funded offers as was outlined in NetBanker’s recent blog post and a for fee report here.