Google and Softcard tie-up benefits versus Apple Pay are overstated

“Rumor has it that Google is considering buying privately-held Softcard, in an effort to better compete with Apple Pay by Apple,” J. M. Manness writes for Seeking Alpha. “Fellow contributor Alcaraz Research has written glowingly of the potential buyout in his post: Softcard Can Help Google Outplay Apple Pay. While I think the basic premise here is sound – that Google could benefit from the purchase – I also think his point is overdrawn and ignores many salient points.”

Google Wallet is “awkward to use. Says Daniel Wolfe of PaymentsSource: ‘I had to first unlock my phone by typing a PIN, then open my wallet app and unlock that with a separate PIN… To me, this was merely tedious. To the cashier, it looked like I was some jerk holding up the line by playing Candy Crush on my phone when I should have been swiping my card,'” Manness writes. “The Apple Pay solution is much simpler. At the check stand, when given your total, you just hold the iPhone up to the reader, and touch the Touch ID sensor (the ON [sic Home] button) with a registered fingertip. Validation is via the fingerprint reader. The phone does not even have to be open. (A further benefit is that Apple Pay will work with the new Apple Watch when it becomes available.)”

“So, what Google needs is not merely access to the mystic approval of various other players, but an overall improvement in the product,” Manness writes. “Clearly a purchase of Softcard would help Google to provide a better wallet for Android users. However, it will not give them any leg up on Apple Pay. Indeed, they still have not yet solved the usability issue. According to Softcard’s site, it remains a multi-step process: ‘You select a unique PIN and enter it each time you open Softcard. This helps protect against unauthorized use.’ This is still not the trivial step of Apple Pay.”

Much more in the full article – recommended – here.

Related articles:
Google in talks to scrape up beleaguered Apple Pay roadkill Softcard (née Isis) – January 17, 2015
CBS News: Apple Pay in the driver’s seat – December 31, 2014
Apple Pay has strong momentum; took 1% of digital payments in November – December 20, 2014
What Apple Pay means to Bank of America: Security – November 6, 2014
Apple Pay is nirvana for (smart) retailers – November 6, 2014
Entrepreneur warns retailers, restaurants, bars: Do not wait, jump on the Apple Pay bandwagon ASAP – November 5, 2014
Sorry, Walmart, CVS, Rite-Aid et al. — Apple Pay and NFC have already won – November 4, 2014


  1. Touch ID is so major. Can’t believe some ppl want the iPhone redesigned so that the home button disappears. The home button has become more vital to the iPhone design than ever before.

  2. Want to make the word “wallet” terrifying?

    Just put “Google” in front of it.

    Holy crap, the thought of Google having anything to do with my wallet… I feel ill.

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