Saying Google Wallet for Android isn’t doing well would be a massive understatement. With almost no adoption aside from Sprint, very few supported devices and a dearth of places to use it, Google Wallet has been an unpopular but awesome concept that’s going nowhere lately. At least Nexus devices support it, right?
Unfortunately, the new Nexus 7 does not. The Google Wallet app could not be installed from either the Play Store or sideloaded APK. Many thought the reason behind this was that Google had been a little slow in updating the app to work on the new Nexus 7, but that is not the case. Director of Product Management for Google Wallet, Peter Hazlehurst, has stated that the new Nexus 7 lacks a secure element in its NFC chip, so Wallet support won’t happen.
Google Wallet works using NFC, but it needs a secure element for payments to stay safe and secure. The secure element is a piece of hardware, so no amount of software modding will ever add Wallet support to the new Nexus 7. It’s unfortunate, but true. The HTC One Google Play edition has met the same fate.
This shouldn’t be a big deal in terms of usability (not all that many people will consistently use their tablet to make mobile payments using NFC), but what does this mean for Google Wallet? A Nexus device, Google’s flagship midsized tablet, does not have support for an important Google service. Add this to the head of Google Wallet leaving less than three months ago, and we’re suddenly not feeling so confident about Google Wallet’s future.
Mobile payments are awesome, convenient and a great advancement in technology. I definitely wish Google Wallet would stick around and advance further with some serious push from Google. But looking at recent events, it seems a little unlikely. What do you think will happen to Google Wallet?