updated 06:30 pm EDT, Fri July 8, 2011
Google buying Punched to bolster Google Wallet
Google is believed to be buying Punchd in a bid to improve Google Wallet. The leaked deal, worth over $10 million, would give Google access to a mobile loyalty card system currently built for Android and iPhone users. Clues given to TechCrunch hinted that Punchd's self-titled project would still carry on.
None of the involved sides have confirmed it so far. The buyout price would let Google keep the terms a secret, but Punchd at some point would have to make the news public.
Google Wallet already has loyalty provisions but could be advanced through Punchd. The system primarily relies on NFC wireless, for example, where Punchd works on snapping photos of QR codes. Whether or not it becomes a secondary option for loyalty cards, Google might get a more polished interface and more in-depth loyalty options than it had before.
The deal could also be a counter to Square's Card Case. Square's mobile payment system is one of the larger threats to Google Wallet, using traditional credit cards but also needing only a cheap reader add-on to process a payment.