Softcard Shuts Down After Google Buy

Just two days after Google announced an acquisition of Softcard assets, reports say Softcard is bidding farewell to its wallet mobile application – though it’s uncertain exactly what that means.

Reports emerged Wednesday (Feb. 25) that a FAQ page for Google’s acquisition of Softcard reveals Softcard’s plans to end operations. “The Softcard for Windows Phone app will also be terminated,” the site explains. “A specific termination date will be provided soon.”

Google announced the purchase of Softcard assets earlier this week in a deal that will see Google Wallet preinstalled on smartphones run by wireless operators AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, which operate Softcard as a joint venture.

Now, Softcard will end its wallet operations entirely on all operating systems, including on Google’s Android, reports say. But Google’s acquisition does not affect Google Wallet, and was merely a way for Google to push use of its mobile payment product. Because of this, reports note that there is some confusion as to why Softcard is nixing its app.

Now, Softcard is encouraging its users to use Google Wallet, though it notes on its FAQ page that users of the Softcard app will not automatically be transferred to Google Wallet, and instead must separately sign up for Google’s product.

When Google and Softcard announced the deal on Monday (Feb. 23), it effectively ended years of quarrel between Google and the mobile carriers operating the app, formerly known as Isis, as Google struggled to push for Google Wallet adoption.

Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile had reportedly barred Google from using its near field communications chip in smartphones sold by the carrier. Google Wallet utilizes NFC technology to operate.

Few financial details of Google’s acquisition were disclosed, but the technology conglomerate revealed that it would take over certain intellectual properties from Softcard to enhance Google Wallet.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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