Google Acquiring Softcard IP & Signs Deal with Carriers to Include Google Wallet on Future Androids


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Dec 30, 2010
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Austin, TX

Here's an interesting turn of events. Apparently, Google has purchased some technology and intellectual property rights from Softcard. In case you forgot, Softcard is the mobile payment system formerly known as Isis which was spear-headed by Verizon. Google has also worked out some agreements with Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile to include Google Wallet functionality automatically on future Android smartphones.

Ironically, one could argue that Softcard is one of the reasons why Google Wallet never took off. It was Google Wallet's primary competitor, and was the main NFC-based mobile payment service which was backed by Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. It never really saw wide-spread adoption or popularity, and it also held back Google Wallet indirectly by reducing its market footprint. Google Wallet was also hurt by the fact that the carriers refused to offer Google Wallet services on their devices (although later on Google was able to circumvent that restriction).

It looks like things didn't go well for Softcard, because the carriers decided to ink this deal with Google. Although Softcard assures its customers they can continue to utilize the service for now, a decision about the future is coming soon. It makes you wonder if Google Wallet would have been a bigger success if the three carriers had not ruined the idea with Softcard. We'll see what Google can do with it in the next generation of mobile payments.

Between Apple Pay, Samsung's new LoopPay, and now Google's Softcard/Google Wallet, it will be an interesting pit-fight for mobile payments.

Source: Macrumors
Today I used my G wallet to pay for my meal at subway, which still have softcard, and it worked fine. So those with G Wallet you should be able to buy where softcard is accepted.