With Apple launching Apple Pay and Samsung buying LoopPay, it’s clear that the mobile payments space is heating up. As a result, Google is reportedly planning to revive its own mobile payments service.
A report claims that Google is working on a new version of Google Wallet that could debut at Google I/O, which will take place at the end of May. Google is reportedly trying to get device manufacturers, carriers, banks, and payment networks to work together to help build this new version of Wallet. For example, Google is reportedly in talks to acquire Softcard, the mobile payment service that was formed by AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile.
In addition to working to acquire Softcard, Google is said to be in talks with banks and payment networks like Visa and MasterCard about its new version of Wallet. Google is working to get a deal similar to Apple’s, in which banks pay Apple a small fee for each Apple Pay transaction because Apple’s security reduces what the banks pay for fraud prevention.
Google Wallet has been around for several years now, but the service has never really gained much traction with consumers. Google has been adding features like money requests and package tracking to Wallet lately to make it a more fully-featured money app, but with the surge in mobile payments brought on by Apple Pay, Google may feel that now is the time to team up with its manufacturer and carrier partners to bring some competition to Apple Pay.