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February 23, 2015

Google makes deal to bring Wallet to major wireless carriers, buys out portion of Softcard

by John_A


Google has signed a deal that will lead to the distribution of their Google Wallet app pre-installed on devices sold by by Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T starting later this year. As part of the deal, Google is also buying some technology from Softcard, a mobile payment solution that had been developed by those same carriers.

According to Softcard, the app will continue to work for users that want to make mobile payments – for now. However, this could change as Google starts to rollout their solution on carrier devices. Since Soundcard is selling some of their intellectual property related to the app to Google, it seem unlikely future development will continue. Reports indicate there are no Softcard employees joining Google as part of the agreement, which could be bad news on the horizon for Softcard employees.

Softcard has been a long, expensive project backed by these carriers to bring a mobile payment solution to market. Their efforts were hampered after the original name of the solution, ISIS, became associated with the terror group and forced the name change. The carriers behind Softcard had blocked efforts by Google to get Wallet adopted in the past and the battle for market control not only led to both solutions struggling for market acceptance, it may have resulted in Apple sneaking in with their Apple Pay solution.

The apparent truce between Google and the carriers comes as Samsung moves to acquire LoopPay in an effort to implement their own mobile payments project. Although LoopPay was essentially in a startup phase, the acquisition and backing of Samsung should help propel it to the top of the class along with Google’s Wallet and Apple’s Apple Pay solutions.

source: Re/code

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