To complement their payment capabilities and continue to innovate their mobile wallet, Google acquired payments technology company TxVia in early April for an undisclosed price.
TxVia, based out of New York, calls themselves a payment technology company offering a platform-as-a-service model for implementing payments. The company formed in 2008 while they now support the management of more than 100 million accounts, mostly prepaid debit cards. According to Google’s Commerce Blog the company also has direct connections to major payment networks “which establishes a solid foundation for Google Wallet and (their) partners to drive innovation on a global scale and in a partner friendly way,” as expressed by Google’s VP of Wallet and Payments, Osama Bedier.
This acquisition can help Google Wallet in a multitude of ways. For starters, Google suspended the ability to add prepaid cards to their mobile wallet for a short time in February while they addressed a security issue that could enable a fraudster or thief to spend a Google Wallet user’s prepaid balance. TxVia, specializing in prepaid, reloadable and gift cards, should be able to help on this front. Additionally, Google may be able to leverage the 100 million accounts TxVia already provisions services for to help beef up their Google Wallet user base. Also, as high-ranking members of the Google Wallet team have defected in recent months, the acquisition of TxVia brings new innovators on board.
What’s more, is that TxVia, a payment technology company, may be able to help the Google Wallet platform expand beyond offering only NFC-based mobile payments. While many believe Near Field Communication payments are the future, an overwhelming majority of consumers do not have NFC enabled mobile devices and many merchants cannot yet support these payments as well. In the meantime, PayPal and others have continued to develop their mobile payment platforms without relying on NFC.
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