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Google Wallet stops NFC payment service

Google Wallet stops NFC payment service

Google has announced via email that it will kill off NFC payment service functionality in April for anything below Android 4.4 (device that don’t have Kit Kat – Android 4.4+).

Google Wallet companion debit card

Google Wallet kills support for NFC payments in pre-KitKat handsets

In other words, you will only be able to store loyalty cards and offers, send money to friends, view orders, and use the physical Google Wallet card to make purchases.

They began sending emails out last night to notify users who meet the 4.3 and below criteria and have also updated their Wallet support pages.

Google mentions in the email that Kit Kat “works with different technology for an improved experience” that non-Kit Kat devices don’t have. I’d imagine they are talking about Host Card Emulation (HCE). With HCE, devices can make secure-NFC purchases without needing a Secure Element. This feature was indeed introduced with Android 4.4.

The move is a bit of a downer, as Kit Kat (Android 4.4.+) currently only makes up 2.5% of the entire Android ecosystem. There are very few devices outside of Google’s own Nexus line, the HTC One, Motorola’s newest, and a handful of Galaxy devices that are currently running Android 4.4. That should change shortly with more and more Galaxy devices receiving the update, but until they have Kit Kat, NFC payment is out.

The post Google Wallet stops NFC payment service appeared first on Payments Cards & Mobile.

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