Targeting Apple Pay, Google Acquires Softcard

The rumor mill is right, Google has acquired Softcard. GoogleEUs goal is clear: to take on Apple Pay in the next phase of the wireless wars. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but news reports peg the acquisition at less than $100 million.

AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless founded Softcard in 2010 before there was much, if any, widespread talk of NFC-based (near field communication) mobile payments and commerce in the U.S. Softcard lets customers make payments at hundreds of thousands of merchant locations around the country.

EUGoogle has acquired Softcard technology and capabilities to power the next generation of mobile payments,EU Softbank said in a statement. EUFor now, Softcard customers can continue to tap and pay with the app. We will share more information with customers and partners in the coming weeks.EU

A $142 Billion Opportunity

Google immediately pointed to Google Wallet. Google rolled out its mobile payment system on Sprint in 2011. The app lets customers turn their smartphones into wallets and make purchases with a tap of their phones. Google Wallet is a free Android app that stores virtual versions of a customers' credit cards, offers and loyalty cards on their smartphones.

Since then, Ariel Bardin, vice president of Payments at Google, said mobile payments have grown rapidly. Indeed, there was no Apple Pay at that time. The U.S. mobile payments market is set to boom by 2019, according to market research firm Forrester Research Inc. Forrester is predicting it will hit $142 billion by then.

EUYou can use the Google Wallet app on Android devices, on any carrier network, to tap and pay anywhere NFC is accepted. Over the years, we've received great feedback from people who use this feature and weEUve continued investing to make it easy and secure for more people to pay with...

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