Google Wallet Goes Beyond NFC, and Now Supports All Android Phones

by Istvan Fekete on September 19, 2013

Turns out NFC isn’t the killer feature to boost mobile payments. And after years of effort spreading the technology, Google has decided to move on from NFC, and with the revamped Google Wallet app they have just expanded its coverage to virtually the entire fragmented world of Android handsets.

The announcement was made a couple days ago when Google introduced the new Google Wallet app, featuring major changes. And for those who were eager to jump on mobile payments, but had no hardware to proceed, Google has some great news: Google Wallet is now available on all Android handsets running version 2.3 and higher in the US (to start) rather than just the 29 models that support NFC technology.

In addition, Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile subscribers will be able to download the app, but they still won’t be able to use it for making payments with their mobile phones through NFC technology in stores.

The problem with the in-store payment persists: it has failed to gain the much-desired rapid adoption and it was, is, and will remain limited to a handful of smartphones on just a few carriers, because Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile are the backers behind the Isis mobile payment application, which relies on NFC.

So, what can you do with the new Google Wallet app? Well, users can now send money to any adult in the US with an email address, but first they obviously have to link their bank account to the app. It’s similar to what PayPal has already been offering for ages. Sending money directly from your bank account is free, and low fees apply when using the linked credit or debit card.

In addition, once you have sent money with the Google Wallet app, you will also get access to sending money through Gmail from your desktop computer, while the company continues to roll out the feature to all Gmail users.

Apple has decided to skip NFC, and it did so for a reason. Now it’s up to you: will you use PayPal to send money, or will you try out the new Google Wallet app?

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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