Feb 20 AT 1:34 PM Dima Aryeh 14 Comments

Visa, MasterCard now support Tap and Pay, but it’s up to your bank to decide

Tap and Pay Google Wallet

Ever since Google Wallet debuted, we’ve had the ability to pay with our smartphones (well, a small fraction of us have, anyway). It was as easy as tapping your phone on the sensor and entering your PIN. What could be so bad about that? We don’t know, but apparently the carriers do. Most of them blocked Google Wallet entirely. Nexus users and Sprint customers could continue with the mobile payments, but most of us were out of luck.

The other carriers released Isis, which is usable but not better than Google Wallet in the least. Google got sick of everyone blocking Wallet, so the company integrated Tap and Pay into Android 4.4, so everyone can use Google Wallet. I have an AT&T Moto X, and I’m happily paying for things using Google Wallet! But it looks like we’re finally getting more options to pay with our smartphones.

Both Visa and MasterCard have announced that they will support Tap and Pay, providing the tools necessary to get cards working with Google’s Host Card Emulation. With these tools, banks will be able to support Tap and Pay whenever they are ready. Unfortunately, this does mean that it’s up to the bank to support it. Just because you have a Visa or MasterCard doesn’t mean you’ll be able to add your card to Tap and Pay.

Once the banks add support for Tap and Pay to their apps, these apps will show up in the settings and allow you to select them as the default payment method over NFC. Visa has already released the tools to add support, while MasterCard will be releasing the tools in the first half of this year.

You may be asking, “What’s the purpose of adding your card when you could have added it to Google Wallet all this time?” Using Google Wallet has its downsides–all payments show up as from Google on your card statement, making them harder to identify. Using your bank card directly is a more simple process that also lets you take advantage of all the safety features your bank offers.

We’re happy to finally be seeing progress in the NFC payment market. It’s been stagnated for so long, despite support for the service growing. Hopefully more stores will start installing the payment sensors now that all major Android manufacturers are updating their devices to KitKat. A huge amount of people will soon have the ability to pay with their smartphones, so we hope the service will finally grow. Do you use mobile payments? Leave a comment!

Via: Android Police
Source: Businesswire (2)

Dima Aryeh is a Russian obsessed with all things tech. He does photography, is an avid phone modder (who uses an AT&T Galaxy Note II), a heavy gamer (both PC and 360), and an aspiring home mechanic. He is also an avid fan of music, especially power metal.

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  • Brook Marin

    I’d love to use my phone to pay for things. I always seem to have it in my hand anyways. I don’t however want to sign up for a new card just to use one. ISIS only supports a very few number of cards or you have to sign up for the American Express Serve account. I don’t want to jump through hoops to be able to use the cards I do have already.

    Now just to wait to see if my bank will support this feature… but then again… how hard is it to pull my card out of my wallet and swipe?

    • yankeesusa

      It’s not hard at all to swipe your card. But with using your phone you get the advantage of not having several cards on you and no way they can steal your info unless they hack into the paypass system or google wallet which is very hard or not as easy. Plus if you loose your wallet anyone can go crazy with your physical cards. With your phone they need your pin and by then you could have canceled google wallet and if you have a security measure in your phone even better.

    • James

      You can use your bank card to load it onto Serve. I use it and it’s fast and easy especially when I use the phone. All I get is the look when I pay for it with my phone.

  • renyo

    Finally another way to showoff my Nexus 5!

    • donger

      Haha agreed.

  • yankeesusa

    This is great news. Means more tap and pay options at more stores. I also don’t mind using google wallet even if it shows as a google wallet payment. It actually takes my bank card and uses a dummy card that isn’t my bank card and that’s what shows up. Less chance of my card being hacked. Also with wallet I can switch between cards at the touch of a button. Only problem with google wallet is they use the purchase history for advertising. But other than that I love using google wallet. Plus its easier to freeze google wallet then my bank and I have 2 step verification on my google account so it’s even more secure

  • bob

    As bad as google might be, the carriers are definitely worse.

  • SGB101

    all new Chip and pin machines have had built in tap and pay built in for a while and they are starting to filter out now. now that US is getting C&P all the vendors will thave a vsa/master card NFC all waiting to go

    i said on here a year or so ago, that the terminals where coming and once there out in pubic all it takes is an app from visa/MC and the game is over for the rest. they have the main advantage even google hasnt, an accepted payment method with world wide adoption. it takes zero effort for the consumer to switch to visa/MC NFC than it does for anyone else.

    this was a given from day one. the only surprise is it wasnt here 12 months ago, we in the UK have had the growing NFC infrastructure , because of C&P since then.

    US should adopt it over night the day C&P goes live. they will have to do a soft roll out, as the point of C&P is security, NFC has huge holes when it comes to marketing the secure aspects.

  • mbcls

    WTF do you mean “up to your bank to decide”?? it’ up to supermarkets, dept stores, gas stations, restaurants if they going to accept mobile payment like ISIS.

    • SGB101

      I think he means it’s upto the banks to add the nfc chips to their cards in the first place.

      Nfc payments has been in the UK for a while, but here is only a couple of banks that have Nfc enabled Cards.

      So until the cards are dominant, retailers and going to be bothered to upgrade their older payment terminals to Nfc. Smaller companies usually lease there chip and pin terminals, to when they get replacment they are Nfc compliant. But in the USA as you are all getting C&P now, you should all have Nfc, so the banks should start rolling out Nfc credit debit cards and then the apps will follow

      • Ellay

        No. Because wallet will be the host for the tap and pay, It will be the banks decision because:
        1. The wallet app will coexist with the banking app (provided your bank has one).
        2. The convenience of tracking payments.
        3. There is no masking of a actual card (notice how no matter what card you add, it suddenly becomes a mastercard with a tottally different number? EVEN YOUR MASTERCARD?)

  • elsantomoto

    I’ve been trying to use Google Wallet ever since I got a Nexus S. It’s way cool at McDonald’s…and that’s about it. Good for flirting with the McDonald’s girl…”check out how tech savvy I am.”
    Has walmart still decided to block NFC payment systems? Seems to me if Wally ain’t happy with it, no one is going to be happy with it.

    • http://www.androidandme.com Dima Aryeh

      Walgreens and 7-Eleven are my main uses. Sadly, no pretty girls at either store in my area :(

  • Ellay

    Why doesnt google just add support for A-Secure element. Then the carriers jump on board with a DEFAULT ADVANCED SIM CARD NOT AN ISIS ONE, and the day begins.