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Google boosts mobile payment unit with Softcard acquisition

Google boosts mobile payment unit with Softcard acquisition

Google has signed a partnership with Softcard to further its efforts in the mobile payments arena.

Google has stepped up its battle in the mobile payments arena by forging a deal with Softcard, the mobile payments app that is owned by the three biggest wireless carriers in the US. Furthermore, the online giant secured a distribution deal with the carriers to get its Google Wallet payments app pre-installed on their phones, according to a Google Commerce blogpost.

It’s the latest move by a tech giant making a foray into the mobile payments world and Google appears to be looking to acquire some of the intellectual property of Softcard, perhaps to ward off the lawyers of Apple. However, the more important news is that Google Wallet will likely become the de facto standard on Android phones, since Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile have all agreed to preinstall its payment app on their phones.

The announcement comes hot on the heels of a similar move by Samsung, which just last week revealed it will purchase the mobile wallet company LoopPay, a mobile payments startup whose innovation allows retailers to accept payments with the current magnetic-stripe technology that is already in use.

It seems that there are now three big players in this game, and focus will continue to revolve around Apple, Google and now Samsung as well. However, another challenger may surface from a group of retailers led by Walmart, who are working on their own payments solution - CurrentC.

Samsung’s acquisition means it has the potential to fast-track LoopPay, however, it seems that Google will not give up without a fight. Furthermore, Apple Pay has already cemented its position and is setting the standard for mobile payments. Things will surely continue to hot up and the battle for the leader in mobile payments will remain of interest to spectators.


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