Catching up with the increasingly popular ApplePay, Google Wallet has partnered with mobile payment processor Softcard. Softcard was launched in 2010 by Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T.

Like Google Wallet and Apple Pay, it relies on near-field communications (NFC) for its mobile payments. As a result of the partnership with the carriers, Google Wallet will come pre-loaded on Android handsets running KitKat or higher, sold by the companies beginning “later this year,” Google said.

Softcard’s own wallet will possibly be folded into Google Wallet, with the JV saying in its own statement: “For now, Softcard customers can continue to tap and pay with the app. We will share more information with customers and partners in the coming weeks.”

With softcard the user can add an eligible American Express, Chase, or Wells Fargo credit card and get all the same perks and benefits from the card issuer. Alternatively they may set up an American Express Serve Account in which the user can add money to with a preferred debit card, credit card or U.S. bank account. Loyalty, membership and rewards cards may also be added to cut the clutter. One can also view balance for select loyalty programs.

However, Last month Softcard laid off around 60 staff as part of a cost cutting exercise amid rumours that owners AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless had decided to stop funding the outfit.

Apart from ApplePay Google wallet has to compete with Samsung which has recently acquired LoopPay, a widely popular mobile payments platform. LoopPay is designed to utilise the patented Magnetic Secure Transmission™ (MST) technology which  turns in-store payment terminals where you normally swipe a credit card into contactless readers.

(image credit: kennejima)

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