Google ups the ante in mobile wallet battle with Apple and Samsung

Google is working with US telcos to boost its mobile wallet amid the fierce challenge from Apple Pay and Samsung

Google is working with US telcos to boost its mobile wallet amid the fierce challenge from Apple Pay and Samsung.

Android phones sold by US telcos AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile US and Verizon Wireless will come pre-installed with Google Wallet. The internet giant is also acquiring technology and intellectual property from Softcard, the mobile software company owned by the telcos.

Google Wallet was introduced in 2011 but the rapid growth of Apple Pay has forced Google to invest more into the app. 

In a blog post, Google vice-president of payments Ariel Bardin said the Google Wallet app will come pre-installed on Android phones running the KitKat operating system or higher in the US later in 2015.

“We’re also acquiring some exciting technology and intellectual property from Softcard to make Google Wallet better,” he wrote. In January 2015, there were reports Google was in talks to acquire Softcard

In the US, the Apple Pay mobile wallet was responsible for 1% of digital payments in the US in November 2014, just a month after its launch, according to the ITG Mobile Payments report. In comparison, despite being established in 2011, Google Wallet only accounted for 4% of payments in the same month.

Read more about payments technology

And Samsung has now entered the fray. The smartphone maker recently acquired mobile payments startup LoopPay in a challenge to Apple’s fledgling mobile payments business.

Samsung is expected to present the acquistion when it launches its next smartphone in March 2015.

Read more on IT for financial services

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