Google may buy mobile payments company Softcard

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It looks like the race to be the dominant force in the mobile payments industry has just hotted up.

It is being reported that Google is in talks to buy Softcard, the creators of an NFC app which enables you to pay for things using your smartphone or tablet, says TechCrunch.

Softcard is a joint venture between three of the largest telecommunications companies in the United States, Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T and Google is reported to be prepared to pay close to $100 million in order to acquire the company.

Of course Google isn’t exactly a noob when it comes to the mobile payment industry, with the Internet giant launching Google Wallet back in 2011.

However, the service hasn’t exactly taken the world by storm and as it stands could probably be grouped with some of Google’s other disappointing projects, à la Google Plus and Google Glass.

Softcard hasn’t been doing all that well themselves just recently and in 2014 were forced to lay-off 60 employees, amid losses of around $15 million per month.

However, the main reason for Google’s interest in the company is that Softcard owns several  patents which it is thought could be used to give Google Wallet a much needed boost.

The purchase of Softcard would also see Google take on other mobile payment services from the likes of PayPal, Amazon and most notably, Apple.

As mentioned, Google has been trying to make inroads in the industry for a couple of years but as it stands there seems to be no clear market leader with regards to mobile payments as the whole industry is still developing.

Apple has perhaps just raced ahead of the chasing pack, with its Apple Pay service the most used mobile payments service currently.

One thing that is for certain is that it is only a matter of time before paying for things using your mobile or tablet will become as normal as using a credit or debit card.

One more point on Softcard, the company was previously known as ISIS but when militants started fighting under the same name in Iraq and Syria, the company was forced to rebrand as Softcard.

According to TechCrunch Google and Softcard have declined to comment on the possible acquisition.

 

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