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Google, Softcard Mobile Payment Partnership Targets Apple Pay

Google announces a collaboration with Softcard, heats up mobile payment battle with Apple and Samsung.

Google has officially inked a deal with mobile payments solution provider Softcard and announced a collaboration with US wireless carriers Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T. It’s a major step forward for the Internet giant, which is looking to compete with Apple and Samsung in the mobile payments arena.

As part of the deal, Google is acquiring technology and intellectual property from Softcard, which will likely be used to improve upon the current capabilities of the Google Wallet app. Consumers can use the app, which is similar to Apple Pay, to tap their phones to pay for purchases in select brick-and-mortar stores.

Softcard, originally founded as Isis, launched in 2013 as a joint venture from AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile to bring NFC-based mobile payments to US consumers. In addition to an unfortunate but necessary renaming process, the project struggled as a result of poor user experience and limited support for credit cards.

Hopefully Softcard’s technology will fare better as part of Google’s offerings. Starting later this year, Google reports, the Google Wallet app and tap-and-pay functionality will come pre-installed on Android phones running KitKat or higher from Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T.

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