Google has had a few teething problems with its ambitious mobile payments service Google Wallet, but it is also putting some money down to get it on the right track. Today the company announced that it would buy TxVia, a mobile payments technology company, for an undisclosed amount.
Osama Bedier, VP of Wallet and Payments at Google, says in a blog post that the acquisition will be used to “complement” the work already done on Google Wallet, Google’s service that enables payments, discounts and loyalty points — and the ability to make those transactions mobile using selected NFC handsets.
The news comes at the same time that Google Wallet is losing some of its key people, including Rob von Behren, one of the founding engineers, who has now joined mobile payments startup Square; and other competitors like PayPal continue to expand their own mobile payments operations.
Bedier is light on detail in his blog post, but he notes that Google and TxVia have already been working together for the past year.
But judging from TxVia’s business to date, this could be a play by Google to massively scale up the number of customers it touches. It also potentially gives Google a whole new raft of products that can be plugged into its payments service:
The work that TxVia has been known for in its five-plus years of operations has been around offering its products in a “platform as a service” model. That includes enabling mass-market prepaid cards, general purpose reloadable cards and gift cards — as well as more B2B-focussed initiatives like incentive payments, government disbursements, payroll and expense management. TxVia has relationships with all the major payment networks, and in all, it manages some 100 million accounts.
TxVia’s management team, which includes CEO Anil D. Aggarwal, EVP Jonathan Weiner and COO Mike Blandina, are all moving over to Google, the company says.