Tallahassee Journal

Google teams with carriers on mobile pay system

Google teams with carriers on mobile pay system

Google announced a deal with mobile payments service Softcard to incorporate its technology into its Wallet service, and make it available as a pre-installed app on mobile devices from wireless carriers AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless. In a statement released Monday, Google says all Android smartphones running the KitKat operating system or higher will have access to the new Google Wallet as well as features such as tap and pay, where a user can tap their smartphone on a special sensor that processes the payment.google-building-441

Softcard was founded in 2010 by AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, and leverages near-field communication (NFC) to allow consumers to tap and pay for purchases. Google Wallet first launched in 2011, and could potentially experience a resurgence as more tech giants enter the mobile payments space. Apple introduced its Apple Pay service last year, while Samsung acquired Boston-based service LoopPay to make its own push into the market.

“This is an important step for Google Wallet, but it won’t be the only mobile wallet option Android users will have,” says eMarketer analyst Bryan Yeager. “Samsung’s recent acquisition of LoopPay and intention to release its own mobile payments system shows that deal activity doesn’t necessarily equate to market consolidation.”

The mobile payments space is expected to surge in popularity over the next few years. According to eMarketer, mobile payments reached $3.5 billion last year, but are forecast to skyrocket to $118 billion by 2018.

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