It looks like we’ve learned a bit more behind the Google Wallet block on Verizon Wireless today. There’s been a lot of talk lately about this “secure element.” Most of that talk is from Verizon who claims the secure element is the reason they don’t allow Google Wallet on their network. What is that you ask? The secure element is in most new devices using NFC and securely handles credit card information, royalty cards, and everything else for mobile payments.
As you all know, Google Wallet is the awesome mobile payments and eCommerce app from Google that accepts all major credit cards, and works like a charm. I absolutely love Google Wallet and use it often. However, Verizon doesn’t feel the same way and completely restricts it from their devices. Same goes for AT&T, and T-Mobile. Reason behind this is because they have their own option in the works to compete with Google Wallet. That’s ISIS Mobile Payments, something we’ve covered here plenty.
Last week we reported a statement by Verizon, basically claiming the “secure element” works different than all other mobile payment apps (Paypal, Square, Starbucks) and for that reason they won’t allow Google Wallet on their devices. Sadly that was a bold little white lie. Today we’ve learned Verizon’s own app they’ve partnered with, ISIS Mobile Payments, in fact uses and requires the same secure element.
The screenshot above is from the Verizon Galaxy S III with the new update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, which brought ISIS support to the smartphone. ISIS goes as far as to mention it’s required and a “dedicated component in your phone.” Sadly last week Verizon claimed that was why they wouldn’t allow Google Wallet. A little contradiction if you ask us. When we reported on Verizon’s statements we basically said they had no interest in using Google Wallet. Turns out that was 100% correct because even with all the pieces in place, they’ll still block Google and use their own option instead. A win for Verizon and a loss for the consumer.
There’s a lot to be said here, but in the end in looks like Verizon won’t be getting Google Wallet support anytime soon. If ever. Hopefully ISIS turns into a viable option in the future.