January 12, 2015
Mobile wallet, Softcard, a joint venture of AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless, has downsized its employees in a process of restructuring the company. The company laid off 60 of its staff and was heard saying that "Softcard is taking steps to reduce costs and strengthen its business," in one of its statements. As per the reports this cost-cutting has affected 12-30 percent employees of the company.
Softcard was previously named Isis; the company rebranded as Softcard in order to avoid any kind of potential abridgement with the militant group, ISIS.
While Softcard already shared the space for digital wallet with companies such as PayPal, Google, and Dwolla etc., Apple's launch of Apple Pay has generated a new competitor threat altogether. While digital wallet as a concept continues to grow, this new competitor threat from Apple definitely has changed the consumer landscape for Softcard.
Further, the company has not seen any significant growth for a long time now; rather the company has been running losses. If one were to look at the investment efforts of the company, the consumer adoption of Softcard has been meager. Softcard has around 1 mn subscribers out of the 40-50 mn digital wallet users. The chart below highlights the investment effort of Softcard and other digital wallets.
Amid these looming concerns, Softcard is now (believed to be) holding discussions of buyout with some potential buyers which (might) include Google and PayPal, as per our sources. Given the on-going losses and market challenges, this could certainly be the right time for Softcard (and its stakeholders) to opt for a closure or a buyout. While there has been no official statement as of yet, but the word is out that Softcard might be up for sale or shut down.
Softcard is currently available on compatible smartphones that uses NFC (near field communication) technology, that enables secure payments and protects sensitive information.