Google suddenly woke up and realized that Apple is going to dominate mobile payment with Apple Pay.
Google announced that they bought Softcard and that the search giant is working with AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless to bring Google Wallet tap and pay to their devices. Google has been ahead of Apple with Google Wallet in 2011 that already had a tap and pay feature. Apple has introduced their mobile payment solution Apple Pay end of last year. Google apparently now realized that Apple is going to dominate mobile payment unless they do something.
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Google Wallet will be pre-installed on Android smartphones (running KitKat or higher) offered by AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless in the US later this year. Google will also use Softcard's technology to make Google Wallet better.
Softcard was founded in 2010 by AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless and to offer NFC-based mobile payments and commerce in the U.S.
Apple Pay will get another boost once the Apple Watch is launched. The Apple Watch will enable Apple Pay also for older iPhone models. Right now Apple Pay works only on the iPhone 6. On the iPhone 6 users verify the payment by pressing the home button (Touch ID). On the Apple Watch a double‑click on the button next to the Digital Crown.
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Apple Pay is going to be the unchallenged mobile payment solution for iDevices, but can Apple infiltrate the mobile ecosystems of Microsoft and Google? It would be a huge move by Apple to offer an Apple Pay app on Android devices. Microsoft has adopted an open platform approach for Office. For Apple Pay it would make sense to open up.