Remember how all the mobile phone carriers (except Sprint) decided to capitalize on mobile payments by pitching in on the unfortunately named Isis Mobile Wallet, which was later renamed Softcard? And remember how it caught on with literally no one?
Yeah – it looks like the powers that be might officially have given up on Softcard, after weeks of rumors that said as much. Earlier today, Google even announced that Softcard would be folding into Google Wallet, Softcard’s former competitor. While it’s unclear whether or not Google is actually buying Softcard, or whether the carriers are keeping their investments in the venture, here’s what is certain: going forward, Google Wallet is going to benefit from Softcard’s back end, and the Google Wallet app will soon come preloaded on all phones sold by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon in the United States.
Sprint is already partnered with Google Wallet, which means that Google finally has all four carriers on board. This is huge. In addition to providing a small customer base to Google Wallet, the service will now finally be backed by all carriers, which could help adoption rates soar – especially given the fact that Apple is now involved with mobile payments, too. (Nothing ever seems to go mainstream until Apple does it, unfortunately.)
For its part, Google promises “there’s lots more to come,” and all indications point to some exciting Wallet announcements later this year at I/O.[Google]