Analysis: Google Buys Home Screen Space with Softcard Acquisition, While SIM-based NFC Takes Another Hit

NFC Times Exclusive Analysis – Google purchased Softcard for one reason, really, to get its Google Wallet app preinstalled on Android phones sold by the Softcard mobile carriers.

As NFC Times reported last month, this was the only reason it would make sense for Google to buy the assets of Softcard, a moribund wallet, which failed to take off in the U.S. after launching nationwide in late 2013. Softcard, formerly Isis, is the product of the unlikely partnership of Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility and T-Mobile USA, three of the four largest U.S. mobile carriers and often bitter rivals.

The soon-to-exit Softcard wallet is yet another blow to SIM-based NFC globally. Telcos once believed they would dominate the budding NFC-based mobile-commerce market, but as with other apps, they now see themselves losing out to Silicon Valley, which is exerting ever more control over the NFC ecosystem. 

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