Apple has Apple Pay. If you have an iPhone 6, your mobile payments platform of choice is pretty much set in stone. But Android has no true de facto e-wallet, but Google is now making that decision much easier by working with Softcard and mobile carriers to come standard on every smartphone sold by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon.
This huge move forward in mobile payments dominance rides of the back of fresh rumors that Google is toiling away on a revamped Google Wallet platform for the upcoming Google I/O conference in May, not to mention a completely new payment platform with Square. In a blogpost laying out the app's new partnerships, the commerce team says its "acquiring exciting technology and intellectual property from Softcard to make Google Wallet better." Softcard does mention that users can keep using the app, but this seems like the beginning of the app's slow journey to extinction, as pointed out by Re/code.
All of this is spurred on by Apple Pay's success, but Google isn't really in direct competition with Cupertino this time since both platforms are mostly siloed into their own ecosystems (Google Wallet can't access the iPhone's NFC, for instance). It's more likely that Samsung's recent purchase of LoopPay has Google scrambling to up its mobile payments game.
So if you're on Android and you want to embrace the tap-to-pay way of life, I hope you like Google Wallet because Google is going to make sure you have almost no other choice. [Google Commerce]