Google is reportedly in talks to acquire Softcard

Monday 19 January 2015 09:56 CET | News

Google has unveiled its interest in acquiring Softcard, the mobile payments company formerly known as Isis, online media outlet reports.

According to the source, the price may be under USD 100 million. That is either a huge bargain or a testament to Softcard’s difficulties as an enterprise: sources unveiled that AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile, the three carriers that started Isis in 2010, have collectively invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the joint venture. Moreover, Softcard has recently laid off about 60 employees and has been in a consolidation phase.

Softcard, created as a unified front for the big carriers to come to market with a contactless NFC mobile payments solution (also what Apple Pay uses), says that there are over 200,000 merchants in the US (including food chains like Subway and McDonalds) that can accept payments with its app, which is available for Android and Windows Phone devices but not Apple’s iPhone handsets.

Softcard app users can activate payment cards from American Express, Chase, Wells Fargo and other banks in the app to then use their phones to pay for things with those merchants.

The source adds that another possibility if an external sale is not achieved, would be JV partners AT&T or Verizon taking it under one of their wings, although they have also been looking at developing their own wallet services for mobile devices. sources say that one of the reasons for Google’s interest is Softcard’s patents, or more specifically what appear to be applications for patents. The company has just over 120 in all.

There are also existing relationships with the JV (joint venture) carriers and there could potentially be deals in negotiation to hold on to these, and their retail channels, as part of the transaction, the source concludes.

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Keywords: Google, Softcard, mobile payments, mobile, payments , AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Android, Windows Phone, American Express, Chase, Wells Fargo, JV
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Countries: World
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