Google Writes Check to Acquire Payments Technology Company TxVia

In an effort to regain some momentum in mobile payments technology, Google has acquired TxVia, a payments technology company.

In a blog post, Google disclosed the purchase but did not reveal the terms. The New York-based company was working on a number of payment technologies, including prepaid and gift cards.

It is no secret that Google Wallet has had a difficult time since launching about a year ago.

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. Today, it only works on a handful of Android smartphones sold by Sprint. Other carriers — most notably, Verizon Wireless — have refused to adopt the Wallet and instead are working on their own mobile payments strategy in a joint venture called ISIS.

Additionally, the Google Wallet technology 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.

Google has also faced a number of internal setbacks, including a couple of departures from the team, such as the resignation of Vikas Gupta, who was the head of consumer payments, and the reassignment of Stephanie Tilenius. Additionally, it was reported today that Google Wallet’s co-founding engineer Rob von Behren has joined Square, according to NFC Times.

Osama Bedier, Google wallet and payments VP, wrote in the blog post that TxVia has partnerships with some of the industry’s best-known brands and manages more than 100 million accounts.

“Their leadership team has played an instrumental role in defining the fast-growing prepaid card segment of emerging payments,” he said. “We’ve worked closely with TxVia over the last year, and they’re a forward-thinking team that will help us take the next steps in realizing the future of commerce. We welcome the TxVia team to Google.”


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