Despite entering the mobile payments market a few years before Apple, Google’s own Google Wallet service is nowhere near the level of popularity or corporate adoption as Apple Pay which itself is only a few months old. In order to help close the gap, Google is reportedly looking to acquire Softcard, a joint mobile payments venture between AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon.
Google Inc. is reaching for its Wallet to keep pace with Apple Pay, but differences in the two companies’ mobile businesses mean it won’t be easy. The Internet-search giant is trying to marshal an unruly coalition of device makers, wireless carriers, banks and payment networks to shape a new version of its Google Wallet payment service, in some cases by offering them more revenue. Google hopes to unveil the new service at its developer conference in late May, said people familiar with the matter. Google, however, exerts less control over the smartphones that use its Android mobile operating system than Apple Inc. does over its iPhones. Smartphone makers and wireless operators offer many flavors of Android devices, with different preloaded apps. Each player has its own priorities, and changes made on behalf of one player can inconvenience the rest.