Softcard Declares ‘Not Dead Yet:’ Onsite Coverage
LAS VEGAS — The short summary of the keynote by Softcard CEO Mike Abbott at Money20/20 was the company isn’t dead yet.
“I am thankful for our new name,” Abbott told attendees at the conference Wednesday.
That decision was made after a Middle Eastern terrorist organization tarnished the original name.
“I am also thankful for Apple Pay," he added. “We faced an industry riddled with inaction. Apple Pay has been the ignition. We all now know that paying with an iPhone is easy.”
Apple also made paying by phone cool, and that sets the stage for other mobile wallet providers to prosper, Abbott suggested.
As for Softcard, which is owned by Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile, and is found on most Android phones that were sold over the past couple years, Abbott said, “We are the Android way to pay.”
There have been no signs that Apple plans to make Apple Pay available on Android phones, and there is some skepticism that is in the cards.
One reason is there is that Google would likely insist on equal access to the Apple Apps Store for its Wallet. Apple opens the NFC radios in iPhone 6 to apps other than Apple Pay. However, that NFC currently blocks other payment services, according to some sources.
With Android in the dominant market position, Abbott said that there may be good times ahead for Softcard, which ought to be usable at most merchants that presently accept Apple Pay.
Apple claimed a number of more than 200,000 although some experts have said the real number of working terminals may be half that.
“Softcard is also the Windows way to pay,” Abbott said, adding a Windows mobile version went live a few days ago.
“We will be on more than 100 devices, on multiple platforms by year end,” he noted.
Abbott also quipped that NFC is “now for commerce,” which was an allusion to remarks made by a speaker at another Money20/20 session that NFC stands for “not for commerce.”
Abbott’s bottom line was mobile point of sales are still in an infancy stage and it’s too early to declare winners. As a result, it is premature to bury some competitors, he suggested.
This year’s Money20/20 conference, which concluded Wednesday, attracted 7,500 attendees, according to the event’s organizers.