Google Wallet

Simpler NFC payments with a wide variety of apps could be coming in the near future

The potential for NFC payments to grow has been increased with the move to Android 4.4 KitKat, and now both Visa and MasterCard are showing support. Using a new feauture of KitKat called "Host Card Emulation" (HCE), both Visa and MasterCard have announced they will be supporting various NFC payment apps with cloud-backed payment infrastructures. Rather than relying on a phone's "secure element" for storing card data, HCE now allows the payment information to be validated and stored off-site, enabling for more NFC payment options.

Visa plans to quickly expand its "Visa Ready Program" to include any app that wants to interact with its payment network using HCE on a KitKat device. Visa Ready provides tools, standards and services to ensure apps work seamlessly with the Visa payment network. MasterCard will also provide secure cloud-based processing of payments to be paired with custom phone-side software to interact with its network. Details on MasterCard's implementation are expected at some point in the first half of 2014.

While HCE has the initial benefit of opening up Google Wallet to more devices without bothering with a secure element, the interest expressed by Visa and MasterCard show we could be in store for many more NFC payment apps on Android in the near future. Considering KitKat still has relatively low adoption there really isn't any rush, but once more devices push up to Android 4.4 this could turn into an interesting space.

Source: Visa; MasterCard

There are 46 comments

dhawk1202 says:

More apps are great, but we need more retail terminals to accept nfc payments .

Posted via Android Central App

I've found the opposite. Haven't found a problem with the infrastructure In the Chicago metro area, but ISIS doesn't support Visa or root access and Verizon doesn't play nice with Google Wallet. Not to mention Google Wallet Tap to Pay won't allow users under 18, which really kills adoption rates. Some more software support would be nice.

korab84 says:

Jamba Juice and Walgreens have Google Wallet as a payment option on their terminals...others I haven't checked who might have it. Grocery stores, like Jewel-Osco and Mariano's, don't have the NFC payment option on their credit card readers

yankeesusa says:

With KitKat, T-Mobile,AT&T and Verizon won't be able to stop it. I currently use Google wallet on my note 2 with T-Mobile and all KitKat phones and nexus phones have working tap and pay. Only a matter of time. Can't wait

Posted via Android Central App

snookasnoo says:

Oh yes they can...they can stop it cold if they choose to. My guess is they won't go even further to antagonize users on this but you never know with carriers.

ayg says:

So you've read they stripped HCE out of the leaked 4.4 AT&T rom for the Note 3 right? Never say never when a carrier is involved.

cnlson says:

Isis + root needs xposed framework installed and there is a module for isis root check hider. Works flawlessly for me. I've used both wallet and isis and wallet, like most Google products has zero support if you are trying to trouble shoot. Isis is giving 20% cashback til 28th I'm going to try buying gift cards to max out the $200 reward. So far I've gotten $50 to start my isis/serve account 20% cashback on that plus my money I've deposited and spent, plus $50 for 2 direct deposits. Between myself and my wife it's going to be $600 (50+50+200 each) loves me some free money!

I'll give that a try!

ajpri says:

I'm 16. The account connected to Wallet is mine. It works. I actually just turned 16 so it also worked at 15.

Posted via Android Central App on my Nexus 5 (4.4.2)

Him... I'll have to give it another whirl.

UndeadNexus says:

This. I can use Google Wallet at places like CVS and vending machines, but not at big retailers like Walmart. If this gets us one step closer to wider NFC adoption, I fully support it.

cnlson says:

Yes, Walmart and sears, target, those will be key to getting enough momentum. It's too bad apple isn't on board with this If they were it would have happened already. (don't worry I hate them)

snookasnoo says:

I worry when someone says they hate a company that is different from the product they have chosen.

cnlson says:

Sorry to cause you worry, I used shorthand, I greatly dislike their practices and wish they would be more collegial. For my uses, their products would provide a standard of experience below my expectations. I enjoy the expanded features and capabilities of my phone more than having a headphone jack on the bottom, or a 64 bit processor with less than 4gb of ram to address. I do appreciate the efficacy of their cameras and credit them with prompting the quick advances in the camera features of many competing handsets.

Better now?

TimmyB says:

Post of the day!

leif1981 says:

The US have to replace all there terminals anyway because they finally get rid off the old unsecure magnetic stripe - this is the perfect chance. There won't be new terminals without NFC I guess.

snookasnoo says:

That is not how chip and pin cards will work and it looks unlikely that US banks etc will institute the same chip and pin as used in Europe now which has its own security issues. Most likely they will minimize options for security reasons but also to favor their proprietary methods.

yankeesusa says:

There are plenty of terminals. The issue can be that some stores like home depot are upgrading to more secure terminals that accept contactless payments but they don't advertise it. It's just a logo on the screen when your checking out.
Places I use tap and pay: cvs,mcdonalds, Macy's, pollo tropical, petco and almost every gas station I go to has it also. Walgreens has the system but hasn't activated it. Best buy stopped accepting tap and pay due to high fees. Maybe now they'll reactivate it.

Posted via Android Central App

snookasnoo says:

That is practically nothing in the retail space.

briankurtz79 says:

The problem in my area (Florida) is that just when Google backdoor Verizon (which was awesome) and I got Google wallet up and running on my moto x, retail stores stopped accepting payments. The machine is there but disabled. 7-11 most notably but not the only place. It's pretty embarrassing to tap your phone to a machine while everyone wonders what your doing and then your payment gets rejected making you pull out your card. After a couple times I stopped trying

Posted via Android Central App

akak84 says:

and more people behind the register that know how to accept the payments.

cnlson says:

From what I can tell as long as the swiper is on there is nothing different for them except that they've never seen it before.

jtwebfusion says:

Not to mention that the existing terminals actually work. I've tried twice to check out from Best Buy and it fails, but have no problems at Toys R Us...

tdizzel says:

Google wallet tap to pay is pretty much the best thing ever. It's the only thing i was looking forward to in Kit Kat and i love it.

Posted from my newly Kit Katted Droid Ultra

1746bklynave says:

100% Agree. I think HCE can move contactless payments forward in the US. Don't need carrier approval now.

Posted via Android Central App

jhhoffma says:

Don't have any problems with my current MasterCards or Amex.

Local grocery stores all do NFC for me, but the better app would be gas stations and more retail locations (looking at you mall and boutique stores).

yankeesusa says:

Many gas stations where I live have it. In the mall I know Macy's uses them.

Posted via Android Central App

snookasnoo says:

The smaller places are very unlikely to adopt because they can't afford it.

leif1981 says:

In Spain they also want to use it for the bus system and in their Article they really nailed the huuuge step HCE means for NFC to take off.

"HCE is a game-changing technology for NFC," says technology provider Aditium's Ibai Iturricha. "With HCE we have the chance to develop the whole solution without having to rely on any other party… With the entry of HCE we are free."

snookasnoo says:

Interesting and surprising. I work as a payments architect in the financial industry. Prior to this there was zero interest in anything to do with NFC by Visa and Mastercard. Partly because they wanted their own proprietary solutions and partly because retailers are cool to NFC because of the cost of readers and infrastructure. I still don't expect widespread adoption of NFC though. Until and unless retailers see the demand they aren't going to pay for NFC enablement and even Google has decoupled the money losing Google Wallet from NFC. It would help a lot if Apple would get on board with NFC since their customer demographics in terms of utilization and spend are dramatically better than Android but that isn't going to happen.

MousePad says:

Wasn't that the idea behind Simply Tapp?

Gunnyman says:

Isis added the Amex Source card which is tied directly to my debit card so I'm using Isis now in places that accept it. As soon as kitkat rolls out to my g2 on tmobile I'll switch though.

Posted via Android Central App

arjunamin says:

This is definitely good news, especially for people that are outside of the USA since Google Wallet isn't supported elsewhere as yet.

I'm positive that MasterCard and Visa will expand their services internationally so that any terminal with a tap to pay option will be able to accept payments via NFC on an Android phone.

snookasnoo says:

These are specifications that banks can write to. This does not mean that you will be using a Visa or Mastercard with NFC right away. Your issuing bank has to support it and write software to their specifications that can interact with their systems.

sunburned says:

Verizon Moto X, no root, got Google Wallet to work with my Navy Federal check card right after we got the KitKat update. I had to download the Nexus 5 version of the app and sideload it I think, didn't work when I got it straight from the Play Store.

I find that quite a few places that I frequent have wave-to-pay systems. The strange thing I've seen is that some of them just don't work. Like I'll try to use Wallet and the cashier will be like "I don't think that thing works". Used it at CVS quite a few times though and it does use card emulation.

jtwebfusion says:

Wow! I'm totally shocked. Since iPhone doesn't support NFC, I figured they would bend over for iBeacon.

deparson says:

One thing is for sure, Isis is dead as 4.4 rolls out.

Synycalwon says:

IMO, payment via smartphone is DOA (I've been saying this for a while now). There is little to no incentive over existing payment formats to entice the average Joe to use it.

Personally, I don't trust my smartphone with such sensitive things. It's all fun and games until it comes to that! Financial? No, just NO!

cnlson says:

I don't care either way, however I can tell you that when I had problems with Google wallet I couldn't get any help other than at xda. Isis, on the other hand, I can get someone on the phone anytime I needed.

Kaiser King says:

Hopefully we'll see this come to the UK too.

DolphinDroid says:

Where I live there are a lot of places that have terminals designed to work with NFC but they are not active. My local Best Buy and Office Depot are examples.

Posted via Android Central App

planoman says:

Always good news when wallet and tap to pay are growing. I use it almost daily on my moto x and nexus 5. More and more places adopting tap to pay! CVS, whole foods, home depot, container store, 7/11, McDonalds, Einstein's bagels, are places I have used in in the last few weeks.

You can also get the google wallet physical card and add money to it as needed I have been using that option more and more since the target breach. Won't go to target without it.

Sent from my Moto X!

DWR_31 says:

HCE is the only thing I've been looking forward to in KitKat. I have a Wells Fargo Bank Card with NFC, that I purposely damaged the magnetic strip on. I basically use it to upset cashiers that don't understand that I really don't have to swipe, I can just tap.

Posted from my "KNOX-FREE" 4.3 Sprint GS3 Maxx...!!!
(ZeroLemon 7000mA battery and ZeroShock Case)

rap1 says:

I think the driver is going to be security after all the high profile security problems lately like target. Whether that ends up being NFC or something else we will see.

Interesting that AT&T sent an email hours after this announcement saying I can now use ISIS and just have to get a new SIM card.

Wicket says:

hopefully this means we'll start seeing more retailers add NFC machines.. both the Ralphs grocery stores here in town updated their credit/debit machines a few months ago and I was quite sad when they didn't have a NFC module on them.. I'm hoping that is something that can be added to any POS terminal cause otherwise I don't see them upgrading anytime soon.