Google strikes mobile payments deals with U.S. carriers

Feb. 23, 2015 2:33 PM ETAlphabet Inc. (GOOG)GOOG, T, VZ, OTIVF, CTLP, TMUS, GOOGLBy: Eric Jhonsa, SA News Editor15 Comments
  • Google (GOOG -1.4%) has struck deals with Verizon (NYSE:VZ), AT&T (NYSE:T), and T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS) to have the Google Wallet payments app pre-installed on Android phones sold by the carriers, starting later this year. The Web giant is also "acquiring some exciting technology and intellectual property" from the carriers' Softcard payments JV, which never fully got off the ground.
  • TechCrunch reported of Google's interest in Softcard last month. Thus far, Wallet's adoption has been hurt by limited support from carriers - Sprint was the only major U.S. backer - and retailers, as well as consumer reluctance to embrace NFC-based payments. However, the launch of (NFC-based) Apple Pay, along with the broader rollout of NFC-capable terminals and chip-and-PIN payment systems (they make card swipes a little less convenient) is altering the landscape.
  • The deal comes a few days after top Android OEM Samsung announced it's buying LoopPay, creator of a mobile payments solution that works with standard card-swipe terminals.
  • Mobile payments plays include NFC reader maker On Track Innovations (OTIV -5.7%) and payment-processing/telemetry services provider USA Technologies (USAT -2.7%).

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