Posted by Chuck on March 2, 2015
Manufactured Spending

Published on March 2nd, 2015 | by Chuck

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Softcard To Shut Down Soon – What That Means for Us

We reported that Google bought into Softcard. At the time, no official date was given for when Softcard will cease to exist. Softcard is now saying that the day is near when Softcard will close down, even for existing users.

Closure is Near

Softcard is now saying on their site that “in the near future,  the Softcard app will shut down and all wallets will be terminated. A specific termination date will be provided soon.”

This information can be found in FAQ format here. (HT: pymnts.com)

Here’s the abridged version:

  • What does the Softcard/Google deal mean for Softcard users? Softcard will soon be shut down for all users.
  • Will my credit cards automatically move over to Google Wallet? No.
  • Will Softcard share my info with Google? No.
  • Should I close down my Softcard wallet myself? No need to, it will happen automatically soon.
  • Will Softcard for Windows be terminated as well? Yes.

Again, we don’t have an exact date, but they say over and over that the end is near, so it’s likely to be within the next few months. [See update on this here.]

What’s with SoftServe?

Most of us don’t care that much about Softcard; we care about ‘SoftServe’. Serve accounts opened through the Softcard app have added load capabilities of $1500 per month in online credit card loads and $1500 in online debit card loads, in place of the ordinary $1000 each.

  • What will be with SoftServe after Softcard ceases to exist? 

There’s no official word given on this yet, and I’d guess Amex isn’t entirely sure yet themselves.

But here’s my best guess: Once a Serve account is opened through the Softcard app, you then get the enhanced Serve features even when using the Serve account from a different device or from a computer. I don’t have SoftServe myself, but I’m guessing that the way it works is that when you open SoftServe, Serve codes your account to have higher limits. Thus, without any intervention, the higher limits would seemingly remain. [See update on this here.]

  • Will AmEx strike a deal with Google Wallet to offer an enhanced Serve?

It makes sense that there’ll be some talks there. We don’t know how they’ll pan out. Possibly, Serve could talk of partnering with ApplePay instead. (I’m not trying to start a rumor here, just saying that in their quest to target the young, poor college students, they may try either Google Wallet or ApplePay or someone else.)

  • Can I still open SoftServe?

There are a couple reports on Reddit of folks who’ve opened Softcard accounts since the buyout was announced, so it’s likely that it’s still possible. It probably won’t last long. [See update on this here.]

  • Should I still open SoftServe?

Good question. You could argue that this is the last chance to grab the higher limits. Personally, I don’t think it’s worth closing out regular Serve in order to open SoftServe right now. Because:

  • It’s possible the imminent termination of Softcard will somehow affect the enhanced limits of Serve.
  • Even if this doesn’t happen automatically, it’s possible that Amex will code the enhanced limits to cease upon the termination of SoftServe. Maybe it’s a failed experiment in their eyes.
  • It’s possible Serve will partner with Google Wallet or someone else and as part of the shift they’ll stop the enhanced limits. It’s likely that this would be part of any deal made with Google or with whoever.

On the other hand, if you were just about to open a Serve account and you have a compatible phone, I don’t see what you have to lose.

Final Thoughts

I was really surprised by the wording of Softcard which indicates an imminent termination of existing users, it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Who knows – maybe it will result in some additional opportunities for manufacturing spend?



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XP1
XP1

If Amex shuts down all SoftServe benefits, then Amex may need to impose new terms on existing users, such as the monthly fees.

John
John

This is why I keep my Amex Serve with softcard account, eventhough I have an option to convert to Redcard. I already have 1 Redcard (my wife’s) and was pondering to switch my Serve with softcard to RC, but after this buyout maybe Serve won’t offer the sign up through Softcard anymore in the future and people who already have it will grandfathered….

Raul
Raul

Ah so that’s why there haven’t been any new offers on softcard app. Only got softcard since it was available to my new phone and was thinking of switching over my bluebird to softcardserve, looks like now is the time to do it. Redcards are nice and all (I have 3 under other people) but think bluebird/serve are a good option for unloading grocery GCs, I just hate loading redbird $500 at a time.

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