Google moves to counter Apple Pay with Softcard buy

Google moves to counter Apple Pay with Softcard buy

23 FEB 2015

Google today struck a deal with the three US operators behind rival NFC-based payment provider Softcard, as it attempts to revive its own struggling Wallet service.

The search giant acquired some technology and IP from Softcard for an undisclosed sum.

Plus, the Google Wallet app will come pre-installed on Android devices (running KitKat or higher) sold later this year by the three shareholders in Softcard — AT&T, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile US.

“We’re also acquiring some exciting technology and intellectual property from Softcard to make Google Wallet better,” added Ariel Bardin, the search giant’s vice president of payments, in Google’s commerce blog.

The outline of the deal conforms to a recent media report that the two sides were in talks. The same report also said Google was prepared to offer more revenue to the operators for their support.

Google feels under pressure to revive the three-and-a-half year old wallet service, in the face of Apple Pay’s launch in October last year.

For its part, Softcard said its customers can continue to use its app for the moment. It will share more information with them, as well as its partners, in the coming weeks.


Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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