Search giant Google is planning an acquisition of Softcard (formerly ISIS), an AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile joint venture whose products and services enable people to make payments on the move using mobile devices. The company is reported to be having difficulties and considering laying off staff.
Google’s move appears to be heading the corporation into competition with the recently introduced Apple Pay in an arena the likes of PayPal and Amazon are also planning to enter. The report of the acquisition, carried by The Wall Street Journal, suggested the deal was likely to be in the $100 million region, but no official statement has been made by either Google or Softcard on the issue.
Mobile payment is a lucrative business with future prospects that make it attractive to many companies. Research company Forrester predicts the market will increase to a size of $142 billion by 2019. However, moving into the mobile payment business would have immediate benefits for many companies - Apple recently made a statement that 1 million credit cards were used on Apple Pay within 3 days of its introduction.
Google is a relative veteran in the area of mobile payment. Google Wallet was introduced in 2011 but for some reason it was not an immediate success, with some suggesting the service was too far ahead of the curve as far as customer needs were concerned. Obviously, the market is ready for Google to try again.