Technology giant Google intends to acquire smartphone payment service Softcard, an Apple Pay competitor developed by American telecom giants AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile - even though Google already has its own version, Google Wallet.
Other interested parties
According to the Wall Street Journal, Google is willing to pay 50 million dollars for Softcard, although it may face some stiff competition. PayPal, which will be spun off from eBay later this year, and even Microsoft have shown an interest, although Google is still in pole position.
It seems odd Google wants to buy Softcard, but its own similar service called Google Wallet has not exactly hit the ground running. Softcard on the other hand, thanks to its beneficial position with several telecom companies, would be a better-suited Apple Pay competitor. Analysts point out that Softcard's current results are disappointing and that the company had to fire another 60 people earlier this month.
Softcard enables customers to add bank cards to a digital wallet on their smartphone in order to use NFC to pay at cash registers. The app is currently only available on Google Android smartphones and Microsoft Windows Phones. Poignant detail: Softcard used to be called Isis, but changed its name because of the terrorist organization called similarly.