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Google Wallet and Apple Pay race for second place

While Apple has ventured into mobile payments with Apple Pay, Google’s latest deal with wireless carriers could give Google Wallet more of an edge.

Google and mobile payments company Softcard announced a deal Monday that would mean Google Wallet would be preinstalled in Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile USA, making it easier for users to get started with Google Wallet.

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But despite Google and Apple getting much of the attention in the mobile payments realm, Paypal still dominates among mobile payment players.

The Google Inc. Mobile Wallet application for cardless payment is displayed on a smartphone screen.

Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Paypal processed $46 billion in mobile payments in 2014, according to the company, and it accounted for 78 percent of all digital payment dollars in November, according to research by Investment Technology Group. The term “digital payment dollars” refers to dollars spent using all online payment methods, according to the firm.

Meanwhile Apple and Google have been in a race for second place. Apple Pay handled about one percent of digital payment dollars while Google Wallet accounted 4 percent of those payment dollars during that month.

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In December, before Google and Softcard announced their deal, ITG said Apple Pay posed a significant threat to both PayPal and Google Wallet.

The worldwide market for mobile payments is expected to grow by about 60 percent in 2015, according to a report from Capgemini and RBS. Research firm Emarketer estimated that mobile payments reached $3.5 billion in the U.S. in 2014 and will rise to $118 billion by 2018.

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