The battle over mobile payment processing keeps on heating up.
In one corner, we have Google (Nasdaq: GOOG ) with its Google Wallet service, which uses near-field communications, or NFC, technology. In another, we have start-up Square, founded by Twitter's Jack Dorsey. In yet another corner, we have eBay's (Nasdaq: EBAY ) PayPal, which hopes its triangle can take down Square. Don't forget the ISIS payment network that's being backed by wireless carriers AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile.
Google Wallet recently lost one of its co-founding engineers to Square, but perhaps its latest move will help compensate for the departure.
The search giant has just announced that it acquired a small payment processing technology company, TxVia, to help drive innovation. Google says TxVia has helped managed more than 100 million payment accounts since 2008 and played a critical role in the prepaid card segment of emerging payments.
TxVia is already connected to major payment networks, which Google hopes will help broaden the global reach of Google Wallet.
Google Wallet has faced a handful of obstacles as Big G tries to get it off the ground. Verizon blocked it on the Galaxy Nexus a few months ago, and there have been some security concerns. And that's before you consider the escalating competition.
No financial details of the deal were disclosed, but Google has a habit of making handfuls of small acquisitions and then stitching them together.
Mobile payments are set to see explosive growth in the coming years, and that's a party that Google wants to be invited to.