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Google eyes up Softcard for move back into mobile payments

Google, a company which once tried and failed at mobile payments with its Google Wallet initiative, might be ready to give it another shot.

It looks like Apple made quite a stir with its Pay service.

The obvious quality of Apple Pay, and the speed at which the service is being adopted by financial institutions in the US served as an alarm at Google, which has a hard time seeing Apple ahead at anything.

After Google Wallet failed to gain any real traction, various media outlets are reporting that it might be eyeing up Softcard for a purchase.

Softcard (formerly known as ISIS, changed their name because of the Middle Eastern group of the same name) is a contactless payment system collectively owned and operated by the major US carriers.

The Wall Street Journal reports (opens in new tab)that Google is willing to pay carriers like AT&T or Verizon extra cash to preload Wallet on the Android devices they sell, but first of all – they might need to buy Softcard in order to get anyone actively involved in the matter.

Samsung further complicates things for Google, as the South Korean giants have recently acquired LoopPay, also a contactless payment system, to compete with Apple. It’s speculated that the new service might come preinstalled on the Samsung Galaxy S6, to be unveiled at the World Mobile Congress in Barcelona on 1 March.

Google has declined to comment on the matter, but CBO Omid Kordestani recently told investors that Google is working on a “fully functional payment system” that goes “beyond just tap and pay.”

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.