Google and wireless carriers in the United States have previously failed to find common ground, especially with regards to mobile payment systems. But then Apple Pay was launched late last year to great success, and now everyone wants to take a shot at the mobile payments field, or at least take part in embracing the mobile wallet revolution. In a recent blog post, Google has announced that it is working with major carriers AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless, as well as their mobile payment firm, Softcard, in having Google Wallet pre-installed on Android smartphones being offered by these carriers beginning in autumn of this year.
This is quite an interesting development indeed for all the involving parties. For the last few years, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless have been intentionally blocking Google Wallet from their smartphones. The reason of course is that they wanted to prioritize Isis, their own mobile payment system. Isis later evolved into Softcard last year, but the fact of the matter is, the system has been rather slow in penetrating the market, which meant that there are really only a handful of Android smartphones to have access to any mobile wallet that uses near field communications (NFC) technology.
But then everything changed when Apple Pay came into being. Not only did Apple create a well-thought out mobile payment system, it also managed to bring merchants, retail stores, banks, and credit card institutions on board its system. So even though usage is only limited to primarily the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus, the venues in which it can be used increases by the minute.
Obviously, Google and the major carriers behind Softcard want to replicate Apple's success. But instead of taking on Apple on their own, they are teaming up this time.
The real winners of course are the Android users -- they finally have a mobile payment system that they can take advantage of (provided that Google and Softcard now screw it up). And it is not just Google Wallet that we are talking about here. Samsung is also busy with its own mobile payment system, acquiring LoopPay almost two weeks ago. This means that before the end of 2015, we could have plenty of options of mobile payment systems to use for our Android devices.
As for existing customers of Softcard, they can still continue to use its mobile app. But Softcard was quick to note that it will be providing new information, especially with regards to how Google's acquisition may affect current accounts.
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