Google To Bolster Mobile Payments Efforts With Softcard Purchase

Remember Google Wallet? The payment feature hit smartphones years ago, promising to replace your credit and debit cards. Google gave it a big push and even put an app on iOS, but Wallet didn’t get the traction many of us had expected. It’s been a different story for Apple Pay, which already has been popping up in Walgreens and other retailers across the country and recently signed JetBlue. Google isn’t throwing in the towel, though, and recently acquired payment provider Softcard to bolster its Wallet revival.

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Google is revamping Wallet to be a better competitor to Apple Pay, and will likely reintroduce the service around May, The Wall Street Journal reports. It faces a more difficult environment than Apple does because Apple has complete control over hardware and software. Google, on the other hand, must shepherd carriers, hardware makers, retailers, and other businesses. Apple CEO Tim Cook seemingly pointed out the difficulties of Google’s situation while speaking to investors, saying “Imagine trying to do this with several different companies. You’d be pulling your hair out.”

Softcard will bolster Google Wallet Google bought Softcard, likely for a fairly low price, to improve its Google Wallet.

Acquiring Softcard solves a major problem for Google. Softcard, (which was initially known as Isis Mobile Wallet) was a payment system supported by several carriers, including AT&TT-Mobile, and Verizon. It didn’t gain major name recognition, but it may be an important tool for Google Wallet now, pulling major carriers together to support Google Wallet. Google is expected to offer certain related services larger shares of the revenue with the updated Google Wallet.