Google is in talks to buy Softcard, the mobile payment company formerly known as Isis, according to a new report from TechCrunch. The deal may be less than $100 million, TechCrunch says. It seems Google is trying to bolster its own NFC payment options in the face of growing competition from Cupertino.
The deal still appears to be in the early stages, and it’s possible that it may not happen. In that case, several other buyers could swoop in for the acquisition, including AT&T or PayPal, both of which are rumored to have an interest in the company.
Softcard is already accepted at a significant number of retailers, and could provide a big boon to whichever company ends up buying it. The app currently supports both Android and Windows Phone, but due to the locked-down nature of iOS devices and the fact that the iPhone only recently gained NFC compatibility, there’s no Softcard offering on that platform yet (and may never be).
Softcard, which was cooperatively created by AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile, recently laid off sixty employees and underwent internal restructuring.