This year’s Google I/O conference is scheduled to take place between May 28 and May 29, and while it’s usually a pretty big event, this year’s is beginning to sound like it might be particularly noteworthy, especially when it comes to mobile payments.
According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, Google is looking to put a big focus on mobile payments as it launches a brand new version of Google Wallet at the event. Before the announcement, though, Google is reportedly working diligently behind the scenes to get not only phone manufacturers, but banks and other payment networks behind this new initiative. Indeed, it’s been rumored that Google is interested in purchasing Softcard, the mobile payments system that was initially put together by AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile.
The report goes further, saying that Google is working with banks and other payment institutions to come up with a deal that’s similar to the one that Apple has in place for its own mobile payments service, Apple Pay. In that scenario, banks actually pay Apple a fee for each payment that’s processed through Pay, because Apple’s security measures actually reduce the fraud protection costs that banks have to pay.
Despite the fact that mobile payments have yet to really take off, but Apple’s own offering has seen plenty of attention since its launch in late 2014, Google’s focus on the idea is not completely out of left field. Wallet has been around for several years, so relaunching it to better compete with other offerings makes sense.
Have you ever used Google Wallet?