Why Verizon Blocked Google Wallet On Galaxy Nexus Smartphone

NFC (Near Field Communication) technology has been pushed by search-giant Google and a number of major financial institutions, retailers and mobile manufacturers over the past 12 months or so. Its brand of contactless payment is being seen as a potential replacement for cash and credit cards in the long term, which is perhaps why the Google Wallet service was given its name. However, US network-provider Verizon recently blocked the availability of the Google Wallet app on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus handsets it was selling. Consumers are asking why this is has happened.

The official reason given out by Verizon is that there were concerns over the security of the Google Wallet payment service. For this reason, it is choosing to make NFC capabilities unobtainable for anyone who buys the Galaxy Nexus on a Verizon contract until it is able to strike a balance which compromises neither user security nor their experience of the app.

For the uninitiated, Google Wallet is basically an all-in-one payment app that lets you tap your Galaxy Nexus handset against a compatible NFC terminal. This will then take a payment from any accounts that you have linked up with Google Wallet. You do not need to carry cash or get out a credit card when you go to buy some groceries.

Google Wallet is not just about making payments in the real world. It is also able to provide you with offers and deals based on your location. This means you might be encouraged to visit a local restaurant thanks to the promise of a half-price meal, or even get a digital coupon which will save you money when you go clothes shopping at your favourite store. The ultimate aim of Google Wallet is to put all of your transactions in one place and let you use one device to pay for products.

At the moment, there is a relatively low limit on the amount that you can spend in a single shopping trip using the Galaxy Nexus and the Google Wallet app. This does slightly put paid to Verizon’s arguments about security. If your phone is stolen, then the thief will not be able to simply wander into an electronics store and buy five plasma TVs with your hard-earned money, as the cap prevents this.

In addition, Google Wallet has a PIN system which means that before a payment is made, you will need to enter a unique four-digit code, just as you would when getting money out of an ATM. This is to increase the security of the service and make sure that Galaxy Nexus users are not exploited.

Google’s phrase for the security of its NFC handsets and app is ‘Secure Element’. Verizon has said that while it was not banning the app outright, it was not yet ready to sanction the use of Secure Element by its customers. This could be considered something of a blow, given that this major network is disabling one of the main selling points of a cutting-edge smart phone.

Hopefully, Verizon will eventually get to grips with NFC and make Google Wallet available to anyone who wants to use it. But for the time being, Galaxy Nexus owners cannot and will have to make do with an old-fashioned wallet and the cash and cards that it contains.


About the Author:

Britney Danila is a Freelance and Staff writer who writes informative & creative articles on Technology for various technology company. Her expertise are in writing articles related to high speed internet providers, broadband services, Social media etc.

Filed under: Tech News
February 6, 2012 by: Prasanth Chandra

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