Google is taking a closer look at getting into the mobile payments space, according to multiple reports. Google is said to be working on a deal with Softcard that would allow the search giant to acquire the mobile payments company at a very small price. Softcard is owned by Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile USA, and AT&T. Google having the opportunity to work with those three major carriers, who happen to be the three largest in the United States, would put them in prime position to begin taking on Apple Pay. Interestingly though, the company has been undergoing some challenging times, as the company has had to lay off 60 employees, and even gone as far as telling all employees to cease operations in the meantime until Softcard does find a buyer.
The numbers that are being thrown around range from $50 to $100 million. Depending on how the acquisition breaks down, Google could really have a unique and inexpensive opportunity to break further into the mobile payments space. PayPal was also said to be interested in Softcard, but at this point, a deal with Google would be more appealing simply because Softcard is already run by those three major carriers, who obviously sell smartphones.
Meet Tappy! Softcard’s new spokesperson.
Many though argue that this could be a major turning point for Google Wallet. While Google Wallet has been around for a long time, the payment system has not actually taken off like those running Google would have liked. Instead, it has remained relatively flat – many argue due to the lack of integration with telecommunication companies. Many have said that the first step to building Google Wallet as a mobile payment system that is heard within the industry – is signing up, and on-boarding companies like Verizon or AT&T who have dominant stakes in the cellular industry.
This should not at all be a concern to fans of Google Wallet that the mobile payment service could be in jeopardy should the acquisition go through. Rather, this should be seen as a major opportunity for the search giant to really dig its feet in the mobile payments space, and give them a real opportunity to challenge some of the top dogs within the arena, like Apple Pay, PayPal, and more.