Still trying to salvage its mobile payments business, Google this week said it acquired TxVia for an undisclosed sum. The New York-based startup is understood to have developed a number of payment technologies, including prepaid and gift cards, but to what extent it can help Google is not yet clear.
“It is no secret that Google Wallet has had a difficult time since launching about a year ago,” writes AllsThingsD. “Since then, any momentum it had created was squelched when it failed to secure partnerships with the four major wireless providers in the U.S.” Currently, Google Wallet only works only works on a handful of Android smartphones sold by Sprint. Other carriers, including Verizon Wireless, have forgone Google Wallet for their own mobile payments strategies in a joint venture called ISIS.
Making matters worse, as AllThingsD notes, Google Wallet relies on near field communication, or NFC, which is not available at all retailers or embedded in many phones. “In the meantime, other companies have had some successes. EBay’s PayPal has rolled out its payment technology in all 2,000 Home Depots, and other companies, like Square, are going after the small-to-medium-sized businesses.”