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HNLNFC - Items filtered by date: January 2015
Monday, 23 February 2015 13:34

Google Acquires SoftCard 

Over the past few weeks, there were rumors on all of the major tech blogs about Google's possible acquisition of the multiple carrier backed SoftCard Mobile Payment System (formally ISIS).  With the rise of usage and promotion of Apple Pay, it seemed like Google needed to up its advertising and promotion game with Google Wallet to gain market share of devices and use of its Mobile Payment system.  

Google announced today that they will be working with AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless to bring Google Wallet to all Android Phones with KitKat or higher.  They also announced that with the acquisition, they will be:

acquiring some exciting technology and intellectual property from Softcard to make Google Wallet better.

Could this mean the return of Token Based NFC payments like Apple Pay?  Token Based NFC payments is the method that Apple Pay uses where a one-time-use token is generated and passed to the contactless payment terminal.  In this way, the credit card details are never passed directly to the vendor to better protect to the customer.  This method also directly ties to the credit card so that points and cash back rewards are accurately accumulated.  The original inception of Google Wallet had a Token Based payment but it was changed later to a Virtual MasterCard Debit card after carriers blocked the usage of Google Wallet on AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon in favor of their Token Based NFC Payment system.  Sprint is the only US carrier who supported Google Wallet.

Perhaps this acquisition will push Google Wallet to world-wide support, as Apple Pay is set to debut in the UK sometime this year.  We will have to wait an see what's in store when Google makes it's Google Wallet announcement during Google I/O in late May.

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According to Android Beat Google is trying to redesign its Wallet service to better compete with its newest competitor, Apple Pay. The biggest hurdle, according to the article, is the amount of partners that it has to deal with. Google has to contend with the fact that its operating system is used by many hardware manufacturers that customize the Android OS and some that even have competing mobile wallets, like Samsung.  Apple does not have this problem because all their hardware is made by them.

Another problem lies with the carriers who regulate the way the phones they sell work. SoftPay (formally Isis) was a mobile payment platform developed by AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile to compete with Google wallet. The carriers went so far as to disable the NFC secure element in phones to push their SIM card based solution.

Google has a challenge ahead as it ties to pull all of their partners together to push Google Wallet to a more mainstream presence.

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Kozu Sushi Moiliili, located in the Old Stadium Mall, has been confirmed to accept contactless payments, including Mobile Payment options.  The cashier did not know of this feature of their First Data FD-35 debit terminal but was not resistant to seeing it work.  If you would like to use your phone for payment, ask the cashier to hit the Sale option, enter the amount and then allow you to tap your phone to the debit terminal.

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With the help of Nacron Productions, Poke on the Run is now able to accept Mobile Payment options like Google Wallet and Apple Pay with their Clover POS.  Acceptance of mobile payment is through their First Data FD-45 Debit Pin Pad, the antenna is located behind the screen of the device.

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