If you thought Google Wallet will become obsolete soon enough, you were wrong. Even though Apple Pay is all the rage right now, it doesn’t mean that other mobile payment services will just turn in the white flag in favor of Tim Cook and co. Google Wallet is back and it will aim to be just as big and widespread as Apple Pay is right now. Apparently, Google is in talks with Softcard about purchasing the mobile payment platform and making it part of the new and improved Google Wallet project.
Mobile payments have never been as popular as services would have hoped, but ever since Apple Pay was launched in October 2014, it seems interest in the area has increased ten-fold. Well, maybe not ten-fold, but there are many people and companies that are expressing interest towards making payments easier and faster at various counters. There are banks and stores all over the world already sporting the Apple Pay payment platform, and even though Google Wallet has been around for a much longer time, its uptake was far from what Tim Cook achieved with the Apple’s new mobile payment platform.
But Google Wallet is coming back, according to the Wall Street Journal and it’s planning to do so with a bang. With Apple Pay, carriers don’t get anything out of featuring Apple Pay in the iPhones they sell, but Google is planning to go about things differently, in a way in which carriers will feel obligated to pre-load Google Wallet on the phones they sell. If you’re thinking about “they do it for the money”, then you’re spot on. Indeed, according to WJS, the Mountain View giant will actually pay carriers in the United States to pre-load Google Wallet on devices, which is certainly a pull factor from the point of view of carriers.
You should not that Google hasn’t confirmed that it intends to buy Softcard yet and the Wall Street Journal only details that the companies are “talking”, as in negotiating. I would advise you to take this information with a grain of salt, as it might turn out to be false rumors spread by hopeful characters who don’t like Apple Pay or Apple for that matter. In any case, we would be curious to see Google Wallet alive again, as it used to be a neat service that just didn’t have the popularity Apple Pay gained in a matter of months. Google I/O is scheduled for May 28 – 29 this year, so we should have confirmation on that if it’s true at the event.
Mobile payments seem to be the method of the future when it comes to shopping, be it online or physical shopping, so Google getting in on the business would not be surprising. After the failed attempt to popularize Google Wallet, my guess is that this time, if successful, the service would have a much greater pull, considering the current state of affairs in the mobile payments industry. Do you feel like the service is indeed a step towards the future or are you skeptical about how Google Wallet and Apple Pay work and would rather pay with cash? I, for one, am all for cash, but I’m a hippie, I don’t even use banks. Sound off in the comments below and tell us what you think! We will back with confirmation about the Softcard purchase, if it truly takes place.
Update: Google and Softcard have made it official. Google Wallet is on track and AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon will have the application pre-loaded on future devices.