Many people who hear the word “wallet” connected to an app’s name may immediately jump to the conclusion that it can be used to make payments. That makes sense since Google has been playing up their Google Wallet app despite the reluctance of carriers to allow it on smartphones. Samsung announced today their own “Samsung Wallet” app that is in development to address some of the other stuff kept in a wallet besides credit or debit cards. The new app will keep track of tickets, boarding passes, and discount or loyalty cards. Samsung also indicates the app will have built in location awareness so it can let you know whether you have a card or discount available when you are near the retailer that issued the card.
T-Mobile began rolling out an OTA update today for Samsung Galaxy S II devices. The changelog for the UVLH1 update is only two lines long, but the first line indicates “ISIS/NFC update.” We have not yet received confirmation as to whether the update includes an Isis app, but it appears T-Mobile is at least installing the framework. Of note is the fact that T-Mobile is rolling this out to existing devices instead of just including it on new devices.
Isis is a mobile payment system similar to Google Wallet. Using NFC, users can make payments at retailers by simply tapping their phones on a point of sale terminal. At the retailer end, Verifone Systems is working on terminals to be deployed in Salt Lake City and Austin for the initial markets. This is supposed to occur during September. Isis differentiates itself from Google Wallet or other providers in that it is being rolled out by carriers – AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile to be specific. The rollout has been delayed due to a change in strategy to have credit-card companies handle the processing instead of the carriers. Security concerns have also weighed heavily on the project as the partners work to assure payments can be made securely and critical financial information can be protected.
source: Bloomberg, Android Police
Google Wallet has been having issues on Sprint’s Evo 4G LTE, and Google has confirmed that there is indeed a problem. Users of HTC’s One X variant on the Now Network were seeing a notification telling users “Google Wallet has not yet been certified in your country or on your device / carrier,” rendering the app useless. Google is now stating the NFC component on the phone contains a “software problem” which can be fixed with a software patch. Google is working with HTC and Sprint to remedy the situation, but no date was given for the release of an update other than saying it would arrive “soon”.
This is good news since it validates that Sprint was not revoking Google Wallet’s certification in favor of Sprint’s own upcoming Touch Wallet.
Just add this to the list of problems Google Wallet has been having lately, including security flaws and root issues, not to mention increased heat from competitors ISIS and carrier-specific payment systems like Touch Wallet. Seems like the mobile payment space is starting to get a little competitive, which in the long run could be good for consumers.
source: the verge
For the past few weeks, users of the new HTC Evo 4G LTE on Sprint have been unable to get Google Wallet working. It would hang at the “adding prepaid card” dialog and eventually timeout with a message to try again later. This was verified to be an Evo LTE issue only since modifying the device’s build.prop file to identify it as a Galaxy Nexus would fix the issue.
Lately, however, Wallet changed its behavior and began displaying an error message that seemed more ominous, telling users “Google Wallet has not yet been certified in your country or on your device / carrier.” The app is then basically dead in the water.
There are currently two rumors as to why this is happening. The first is that Google is working on a fix and this new error message is simply a stop-gap measure until the fix is ready. After all, it’s better to tell the user the app won’t work than to just hang and let the user wonder what’s going on. The second rumor is that Sprint is blocking Google Wallet since they plan to launch their own NFC payment solution called Touch. We’re hoping it’s rumor #1 and NOT rumor #2. I don’t like the idea of different payment systems for different carriers.
Google’s VP of Wallet and Payments Osama Bedier said during the Mobile Money: Delivering Innovative Mobile Payment Services panel at Mobile World Congress that Sprint will be getting at least ten more Google Wallet-enabled devices by the end of the year. We already have the Nexus S, and next up will be the Galaxy Nexus and the LG Viper 4G, so it’s good to see more NFC-enabled phones coming soon to the Now Network.
Google is still negotiating with manufacturers, operators, and potential financial partners to expand Wallet’s reach, but with some recent security issues coming to light, as well as the competing Isis system starting trials this year, it’s going to be an uphill battle. Isis is already being backed by all the big boys: HTC, LG, Motorola, RIM, Samsung, Sony, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, Chase, CapitolOne, and Barclaycard. Phew. That’s a big list.
Of course, Google Wallet has had a head start, with 22 of the largest retail chains in the U.S. already supporting the technology at 300,000+ MasterCard PayPass terminals. But will it be enough once Isis rolls out? Hard to say, but competition can only be good for consumers, so whichever system wins out, I’m sure as long as your phone supports NFC, it will be able to use it. Who knows… maybe there’s room for both. Can’t we all just get along?
A new update for the PayPal app hit the Android Market earlier today and with it brings some pretty cool improvements. The whole in-app experience received a bit of a face lift, improving the UI and making navigation easier on both tablets and smartphones. A new widget has been added that not only allows easy access, but allows you to make payments through NFC as long as your device has the required chip. This NFC integration makes transferring money a cinch, simply type in the amount you want to transfer and then tap the two NFC enabled devices together. Easy as that. Kinda makes the Galaxy Nexus sound even MORE tempting, huh?
Charge Anywhere announced that they will soon be releasing an app that will turn the Nexus S into a full payment terminal using the phone’s built-in near field communications (NFC) technology. Owners will be able to process Mastercard Paypass and Visa Blink payments remotely.
Dmitriy Lerman, Director of Marketing for Charge Anywhere, said the software update is ready to make available to large customers, and will soon release it for all customers.