Just two months ago, Softcard announced it was launching a new national $1.5 million campaign to invigorate its digital wallet with a Muppet named Tappy. Two months later, Tappy’s future may be uncertain as Softcard has announced it’s taking cost-cutting measures and cutting 60 jobs, according to Finextra.
“Softcard is taking steps to reduce costs and strengthen its business. This includes simplifying the company’s organizational structure and consolidating all operations into its Dallas and New York offices, which involves layoffs across the company,” Finextra reported via a Softcard statement. “We believe these efficiencies will best position Softcard in the marketplace while maintaining focus on serving our market.”
Softcard has been around since 2010 but has struggled to grab ahold of a digital wallet audience. On Nov. 16, 2010, before the days of Google Wallet, and before Apple Pay was nary a gleam in the networks’ and issuers’ eyes, Softcard (back then it was Isis) launched as a JV between three major phone carriers.
Rumors were swirling that Softcard was shutting down altogether and that AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless were going to stop funding the NFC payments option, but Finextra confirmed that chatter was just a rumor.
Softcard’s biggest competitor when it went national in 2013 was Google Wallet, but both were stuck in the mud since retailers have been slow to install NFC terminals. But, that’s all changed with Apple Pay. Apple Pay has already given new life to Google Wallet and other digital wallets, but it’s hard to tell what impact it has had on Softcard alone. Softcard won’t get the Apple Market but it did attempt to expand its presence in 2014 by adding the Windows Phone to its list of carriers for its mobile wallet.
While it looks like Softcard is headed in another direction, there hasn’t been any reports on what will happen to Tappy’s commercial future.