Enabling Technologies

Softcard goes Aggressive in Marketing Efforts, Plows in $1.5 Mn


Softcard, the mobile payment company formed by three of the largest national phone carriers, is investing $1.5 million for a national marketing debut. The company, a joint venture among Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile, failed to gain consumer adoption even after going national last year. The new marketing effort highlights Softcard’s point-of-sale terminals used at merchants like McDonald’s. McDonald's announced its compatibility with Softcard last month. The campaign also highlights Softcard's relationship with Subway.

The new campaign showcases Softcard’s products and partners, in a social manner. Softcard is spending around $1.5 million on the initial six-week phase of the effort, as part of which ads will run primarily on mobile platforms and social media. When Softcard went national last year, its usage was affected by Apple, which had not enabled NFC on iPhones. Hence, retailers were reluctant to install the NFC terminals on which Softcard relies.

Now with Apple bringing NFC and helping in expansion of NFC through Apple Pay, Softcard is looking to target roughly 60% of U.S. smartphone consumers not using iPhones. Softcard recently announced its support for Windows phone. In the tough competitive scenario, adopting Windows phone could be an effective strategy for Softcard as it could target a totally different segment in the market. With NFC based payments gaining traction in the market, thanks to Apple Pay, a large proportion of Windows phone users would certainly opt for Softcard services.

Softcard and McDonalds had collaborated to enable Softcard’s payment service across McDonalds’ 14,000 U.S. locations. Customers can make NFC based payments in restaurants and in the drive-thru lane as well. A notable fact is that this deployment of NFC-based mobile commerce is the largest for the drive-thru concept.

Softcard had collaborated with SUBWAY to bring NFC-based mobile payments to 26,000 SUBWAY U.S. locations across U.S. As part of the deal, Softcard had also integrated SUBWAY Card Rewards Program into the Softcard app. Softcard users can get cashback upto $1 on every purchase made as part of SUBWAY’s rewards program.

With its first big marketing push, the company is signaling that it intends to stick around.



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