Google bolsters Google Wallet with TxVia purchase

“Accelerate innovation towards our full Google Wallet vision”

Google is moving to shore up its nascent mobile payments platform, Google Wallet, with the purchase of payments technology platform, TxVia, for an undisclosed sum, reports StrategyEye. Google’s wallet and payments VP, Osama Bedier, says in a blog post that TxVia’s technology will “accelerate innovation towards our full Google Wallet vision”, and he goes on to highlight the firm’s established relationships with the major payment networks, something that will enable Google Wallet to keep pace with the raft of payments firms emerging, such as Isis, which is formed by major US players AT&T, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile.

The acquisition also gives Google access to some 100 million customers using TxVia’s technology, something that will no doubt provide a boost to Google as it seeks mainstream adoption of its NFC-based payments and discounts service, amid reports claiming that it is not gaining the traction expected. A Bloomberg report last month stated that Google is considering revamping its Wallet strategy following poor uptake and offering a revenue share to operators in a bid to win them round. Currently, Sprint is the only US operator to support Google Wallet, while Verizon has blocked the service from Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus smartphone in favour of Isis.

Meanwhile, co-founding Google Wallet engineer, Rob von Behren, has become the latest member of the Google Wallet team to desert the service by joining Square. Key departures have hampered the service of late, and Behren’s departure follows those of fellow co-founding engineer, Jonathan Wall, and product lead, Marc Freed-Finnegan, who left the project last month to work on their own payments startup, Tappmo. The departures come as others bolster their rosters, with American Express snaring Neal Sample, eBay’s CTO of its open commerce platform, X.commerce, to assume the role of technologies SVP for its digital wallet service, Serve.

However, Google will be hoping that its TxVia deal, along with a raft of NFC-enabled smartphones release this year, will help it snare more consumers and merchants in the coming months. Global shipments of NFC-enabled devices are expected to top 100 million this year, according to Berg Insight, and US operator Sprint plans to launch at least 10 Google Wallet-integrated smartphones this year.

Google’s TxVia purchase is illustrative of its more refined M&A activity under Larry Page, who is streamlining the company’s products after an extended period of experimentation under former CEO Eric Schmidt. Google’s corporate development head, David Lawee, said in February that the company is narrowing its focus and concentrating on strategically important markets such as mobile and video, as it looks to expand beyond its core search business.

Related reading

Leave a comment