Softcard, formerly known as Isis, has reportedly garnered interest from Google for a possible acquisition. Sources close to the search giant’s plans claim Google, which already offers Google Wallet, is willing to shell out $100 million for the mobile payments vendor. Against competitors like Apple Pay, that would give Google some impressive firepower in the digital wallet war.
Softcard currently exists as a joint venture between AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile, and works similarly to Apple Pay in that it utilizes NFC to make payments; Google Wallet, of course, isn’t much different, so folding the Softcard platform into Google’s own service should be a cinch. It would actually be a win for Softcard if Google does indeed acquire the company; while millions have been invested in the service, it is reportedly gushing losses, and was forced to lay off about 60 employees at the beginning of the year.
Google’s main interest in Softcard, according to TechCrunch, are the patents (or applications of the patents), which amount to 120 in all. In a market that still hasn’t quite taken off, Google could really improve the profile of Wallet with Softcard under its belt. It’s unclear how advanced talks are, so we’ll keep our eye out for further developments.