Apple Pay took the mobile payment market by storm, and in large part left everyone else out. Google had Google Wallet long before Apple Pay, but it performed poorly and didn’t have the mind share Apple has managed to gain. To battle against Apple it’s formed a unique relationship with Softcard and the mobile carriers. Google Wallet will now come pre-installed on your Android phone, and it will not be blocked by carriers such as AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon.
Google acquired technology and intellectual from Softcard, which is one part of this weird relationship. Softcard was a joint venture between AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon but has failed to catch on. This partnership between the carriers and Google have largely been ignored in press releases and the larger press. Google may try to give the carriers a cut of mobile payments, or some money to allow Google Wallet onto all Android phones.
NFC payments are really heating up but Samsung may want to change that with LoopPay, which use the same magnetic strip technology in credit cards to send payment details securely to retailers. Samsung mobile payment system would be support in 90% of retail stores while NFC backed payments are only support in 5% of store but quickly growing.
Google Wallets failure could be attributed to retailers not catching on or Google’s poor push for NFC terminals in stores. Apple partnered with dozens of retail stores, restaurants, and banks to have Apple Pay supported from the get go. Google never pushed Google Wallet in this way, and hope retailers would update their terminals based on customer requests and demand.
Overall this partnership was Softcard and the mobile carriers conceding and turning to Google to have mobile NFC payments on all their phones. If the carriers still get a cut of the money its a win for them and a win for Google Wallet being pre-installed on all Android phones.
Tell us in the comments below what you think about Google Wallet and Softcard partnering up in order to compete with Apple Pay.