Softcard confirms shut down

Softcard confirms shut down

US telco-owned mobile payments venture Softcard has confirmed that is shutting down after selling off technology and intellectual property to Google.

Earlier this week Google confirmed that it was taking on Softcard tech as part of a deal with AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless that will also see Google Wallet pre-installed on handsets.

Softcard has now confirmed that this means the end of its service, saying on its site: "In the near future, the Softcard app will shut down and all wallets will be terminated. A specific termination date will be provided soon."

Although it is encouraging customers to download the Google Wallet app, there is no way for people to automatically move their cards from one to the other.

Despite its powerful owners pumping large amounts of cash into it, Softcard had a troubled short life and faced fierce competition from the likes of Apple, Google, PayPal the card firms, retail consortium MCX and a host of startups.

Last month, amid rumours that the money had dried up, a major cost cutting exercise began, with around 60 employees laid off. Although Softcard denied that it was being killed off, speculation about a Google agreement surfaced, with a fee of between $50 million and $100 million touted.

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