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This article was published on February 23, 2015

Google buys Softcard technology to improve Wallet, will pre-install it on new US Android devices

Google buys Softcard technology to improve Wallet, will pre-install it on new US Android devices
Mic Wright
Story by

Mic Wright

Reporter, TNW

Mic Wright is a journalist specialising in technology, music and popular culture. He lives in Dublin. He is on Twitter at @brokenbottleboy. Mic Wright is a journalist specialising in technology, music and popular culture. He lives in Dublin. He is on Twitter at @brokenbottleboy.

Google has announced a deal with Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T to pre-install Google Wallet on all of their Android devices in the US from later this year. As part of the agreement, it’s buying technology from Softcard, the mobile payments app owned by the three carriers.

There had been rumors that Google was teeing up to buy Softcard – which previously went under the now-unfortunate name of ISIS – but that doesn’t seem to have happened. Instead, it’s gobbling up some of the company’s intellectual property, which it says will improve Google Wallet.

When we last heard from Softcard, it was rolling out NFC payments for Windows Phone users in the US at the end of last year. It confirmed the deal in another blog post.

The company says customers “can continue to tap and pay with the app” but promises to “share more information with customers and partners in the coming weeks,” which suggests changes are coming.

Whatever happens, we’re sure Google won’t want to acquire Softcard’s creepy mascot Tappy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNXc-fvIItw

➤ Tap, tap. Who’s there? Google Wallet and Softcard! [Google Commerce]

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