Google deal means game over for mobile payments firm Softcard
App and all wallets to go dark 'in the near future'
Google may not have bought Softcard – not exactly – but the online ad-slinger's deal with the mobile payments firm has apparently left Softcard with nothing to do but shut down its service.
Google announced on Monday that it had acquired "some exciting technology and intellectual property" from Softcard, but it didn't say what.
Now a FAQ about the deal posted to Softcard's website explains that "the Softcard app will shut down and all wallets will be terminated" in the near future – and that goes for both the Android and Windows versions of the app.
Softcard accounts won't automatically be shifted over to Google Wallet, either. Current Softcard customers who want to switch to the Chocolate Factory's payment service will have to sign up for Google Wallet themselves.
On the plus side, Softcard says any personal information that its customers shared with it won't be transferred to Google as part of the deal, either.
Softcard (nee ISIS) was founded in 2010 as an alliance between US mobile carriers AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. Despite the carriers blocking Google Wallet from devices sold on their networks, however, Softcard never gained much traction with consumers, and now Apple Pay is threatening to eat everyone's lunch.
As part of the deal announced this week, the three carriers will lift their ban on Google Wallet and will start shipping devices with the tech pre-installed later this year. As for Softcard, on the other hand, it looks to be the end of the road.
Softcard didn't announce exactly when it plans to pull the plug on its service, saying only that customers will be provided with a termination date "soon." ®
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