Google makes deal with US telecoms companies to rival Apple

In a bid to rival Apple Pay, Google struck a deal with three major US telecoms companies this week, to pre-install its Google Wallet app on smartphones. The deal includes the purchase of mobile wallet technologies and patents from Softcard, which will be pre-installed on Android phones sold by T-Mobile USA, AT&T and Verizon Wireless …

by | February 24, 2015 | bobsguide

In a bid to rival Apple Pay, Google struck a deal with three major US telecoms companies this week, to pre-install its Google Wallet app on smartphones.

The deal includes the purchase of mobile wallet technologies and patents from Softcard, which will be pre-installed on Android phones sold by T-Mobile USA, AT&T and Verizon Wireless later on in the year.

“We’re excited to announce that we’re working with AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless, as well as their mobile payments company Softcard, to help more Android users get the benefits of tap and pay,” said Ariel Bardin, Vice President of Payments at Google.

Google, who introduced their tap and pay feature in its wallet app in 2011, said that they received great feedback from users of this feature and want to continue to make it easy and secure for customers to pay with their phones by working with innovators in the industry.

“We’ve received great feedback from people who use this feature and we’ve continued investigating to make it easy and secure for more people to pay with their phones. A big part of this is with other innovators in the industry to help provide a seamless experience across a wide range of phones and stores,” said Bardin.

The competition for a share in the mobile payments market is heating up between Apple, Google and most recently Samsung. The FT reports that consumers and retailers have so far shown more interest in using Apple Pay over Google Wallet, and Samsung is expected to launch their own wallet after buying mobile payments technology company, LoopPay last week.

Android is holding the largest share in the smartphone market and Google’s deal with three of the top telecom service providers could mean less business for Apple. According to research firm eMarketer, $3.5bn payments were made with a smartphone via tap and pay in 2014, a figure which the firm expects to reach $118.01bn by 2018. The number of tap and pay users is also predicted to rise from 15.9 million in 2014 to 57 million by 2018.

Apple, who launched Apple Pay on their latest iPhones, in partnership with major retailers and app makers in October last year, make their profits from a part of the fee merchants pay to process card transactions. Whereas according to the FT, eMarketer analysts predict that Google, whose app will be free for consumers to use, stand to benefit from becoming a party to its user’s offline purchases.  

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