Verizon says it won't allow Google Wallet because it uses NFC

Verizon says it won't allow Google Wallet because it uses NFC
Okay, obviously that's not the official reason given by Verizon, but essentially, it's the truth. Verizon responded to an FCC complaint about Google Wallet not being allowed on Verizon devices. The official reason doesn't mention NFC, but we'll sort through the response for you.

Google Wallet launched over a year ago, and has yet to make it onto any Verizon handsets, despite updates to make it more secure. Verizon claims that it isn't "blocking" the app, although it won't show in the Google Play Store for Verizon users, and doesn't come preloaded on any devices. The FCC stepped in to question Verizon about the claims that the company was blocking the app, and Verizon responded to a customer complaint about the issue (full letter to the right). 

Verizon's response was that, while it isn't "blocking" the app (even though it is), if it were, the reason would be because Google Wallet requires access to a "secure element" which isn't available on all handsets. And, if Google were to remove this requirement, then the app would be free to be installed on Verizon devices, much like other mobile payment apps Square or PayPal.

Of course, that "secure element" is the NFC chip found in certain handsets. You know, the NFC chip that makes Google Wallet useful, and separates it from the competition like Square and PayPal. Although, it is similar to one competitor: Verizon-backed Isis, which uses NFC-enabled SIM cards for tap-to-pay transactions. 

So, the official reason why Verizon isn't allowing Google Wallet is because it requires interaction with a "secure element" (aka NFC-chip), and that secure element isn't available on all Verizon handsets. Following this logic, Verizon will have to be careful when Isis is launched on the network (currently it is only testing on T-Mobile), and not allow any users to download and install Isis, until everyone on the entire network has an NFC-enabled SIM card, or else the company would look quite hypocritical. 

source: XDA via Droid Life

FEATURED VIDEO

41 Comments

1. Non_Sequitur

Posts: 1111; Member since: Mar 16, 2012

Ah, go to hell, Verizon. Google should kick the carriers around a little, starting with Verizon.

5. D.Aceveda

Posts: 432; Member since: Jun 30, 2012

Take a walk Verizon. Take a walk

2. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

actually they will look hypocritical even if they do limit Isis to compatible devices, because they would still be excluding Google Wallet. I hope the FCC continues to school their greedy ways.

3. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

Good point, let me edit that.

4. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Why is it that Verizon is the carrier that seems to have the most "problems" when it comes to apps? I really do feel sorry for the GNex users on Verizon who can't use GW.

6. Non_Sequitur

Posts: 1111; Member since: Mar 16, 2012

They can. Go to xda. :) However, for the average user, this is very crippling to Google. Verizon is (somehow) the largest carrier, so yeah...

13. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

Verizon is the largest because for a long time it was the only option for wireless in rural areas. And, in many rural areas it's still the only option for cable and wired, so people get Verizon for the package deals.

7. wendygarett unregistered

Now I know why nfc never be that popular, another reason to blame lol

8. XPERIA-KNIGHT unregistered

theres nothing wrong with NFC wendy it is very useful and actually quite genius......if anything theres somthing wrong with verizon!.......here at least

10. wendygarett unregistered

That's why I'm say another reason to blame company who didn't appreciate the power of nfc such as vzw... Sorry again for my bad English lol...

18. XPERIA-KNIGHT unregistered

ok....lol....ok.........no this time I'M sorry, I see what you were saying now.....forgive me for saying this but i dont think you've built up that reputation yet to where people REALLY see your side of the coin......... in other words, try and be more "specific" so people wont get CONFUSED with you all the time......sound good?

27. wendygarett unregistered

Yup, sound good to me :) Shouldn't skip English lesson tho lol

43. true1984

Posts: 864; Member since: May 23, 2012

is that because the iphone doesnt have nfc?

9. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Google is too much of a pushover. Apple doesn't allow the carriers to butcher their phones and strip out features so I don't see why Google can't step in and do the same. Google is being too lax with them.

11. XPERIA-KNIGHT unregistered

oooo yea we should all be like the mighty and all powerful apple.....and your reason is specifically why apple is going under and why Google is rising........the question begs itself, when are YOU going to wake up? THE ONLY thing apple and verizon have in common is GREED!

21. Mxyzptlk unregistered

If Google is rising then how come they keep getting beaten by the carriers with incidents such as this one?

22. XPERIA-KNIGHT unregistered

does that mean they are "losing" though? yes if the big picture is to "control" everything, like what your beloved company and carrier is doing, and no if the big picture is what its always been with Google, FREEDOM!.......just cause you dont own ONE place in a monopoly game doesnt mean you are going to LOSE the game! Yes verizon is the largest carrier, THAT IS A FACT, but Googles aim is, ONCE AGAIN, not to control everyone and EVERYTHING........verizon is a greedy carrier and feels that every one has to bow down to them, which is the same mindset that Apple has, which is why i said they are GOING UNDER......why because Pride and arrogance has gone on LONG enough with these companies, and its time for consumers to reap the benefits of good business not business controlled and monitored....

23. alouden unregistered

I think a middle ground would be better. You know, somewhere between Google bending to Verizon's will and Apple stifling competition and innovation.

24. XPERIA-KNIGHT unregistered

why should Google bend to verizons will?? I think Googles mindset, is where the world needs to be more so than what verizon wants! (control) Verizon needs to loosen up a bit or they too will find themselves in a bad predicament!

32. alouden unregistered

I could have phrased that better. I am not suggesting total submission to Verizon. But I could see if a carrier had legitimate concerns. And for the record, the locked bootloader is NOT a legitimate concern. Nor are their efforts to block google wallet. I dislike Verizon and that dislike has grown over the years, although I have their service (family plan, unfortunately). I sometimes think Verizon forgets that we actually own the phone. I pay the subsidized price and pay off the remaining cost over my two-year contract. You are right: Verizon needs to chill out. Why is it they are the only provider on the planet insisting on a locked bootloader? Why no access to Google wallet? Their explanations are a joke. So my solution is to root any verizon smartphone I own. If I want a feature on my phone, I will put it on my phone.

20. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

For once... I actually agree with something you wrote. All Nexus devices should be pure, but some how VZW is the only carrier that managed to water their version down. Google in the very honorable pursuit to not be evil, really does allow OEM's and carriers like VZW to dump all over their product. It would do them good to stand up to the carriers...like Apple does.

37. MeoCao unregistered

Android is free ecosystem so Google can't do everything. iOS is Apple's dictatorship so it has free hand. Sometimes democracy is not as effective as dictatorship!

12. Heretic

Posts: 18; Member since: Jun 12, 2012

I went to download google wallet from google play to see what happens. This is what happens. "This app is incompatible with your HTC ADR6410LVW." By the way, my phone has NFC. Shame on you VZW!

15. Sailingmaster

Posts: 24; Member since: Feb 26, 2012

Wouldn't it be nice if the Google Play Store's error came back with the correct information? "This app is incompatible with your carrier's myopic need for control."

14. Sailingmaster

Posts: 24; Member since: Feb 26, 2012

Verizon hasn't come to grips with the simple fact that it's not the #1 carrier in the #1 market anymore. It's the #1 carrier in the #3 market. And, while Val Kilmer may say, "my hypocrisy only goes so far," Verizon Wireless has no such scruples. Europe and China are the biggest markets for smartphones and related services, and Big Red becomes less relevant with each passing fiscal quarter. This whole "I do what I want" attitude towards manufacturers and customers will eventually come back to haunt them.

41. lsutigers

Posts: 832; Member since: Mar 08, 2009

As a Verizon customer I agree, this attitude of total control and screw the customer will catch up to then, hopefully sooner than later.

16. letgomyeggroll

Posts: 139; Member since: Jun 13, 2012

MXYZPTK, there is nothing to strip from Apple' devices. It doesnt have NFC, and if it does strip anything from from the IPhone, than it won't be a smartphone. You see Iphone dont have anything unique but the IOS itself. It's a very basic smart phone for basic user that just wants to pull out the box and use it and listen to music. Apple is the push over, it wont aloud carriers to sell their IPhone unless its on their terms, and they wont even let their service techs troubleshoot the phone. Which most of the time its swapping parts. And with all the patents that they are trying to claim. So who is the push over?

17. dorianb

Posts: 617; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

It's bluetooth all over again Verizon. Tell me when the class action starts.

19. talon95

Posts: 994; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

My Gnex verizon phone has google wallet, it also has android 4.2.1, free tethering and unlimited data. If it didn't I wouldn't be with Verizon. Google could push some weight around but consumers need send a message with their own wallets that carriers can't ignore, and if you can't do that then send an email once a day. Meanwhile, root and enjoy what you should have anyways, it's pretty much illegal for them to provide you anything less, they'd be breaking the terms of their spectrum contracts.

26. MC1123

Posts: 1256; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

whats wrong with NFC? are they pulling an apple?

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.