Jul 29 AT 2:59 PM Dima Aryeh 49 Comments

New Nexus 7 has no NFC secure element, no Google Wallet support

google wallet

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?

Source: Android Police

Dima Aryeh is obsessed with all things car and tech. His time is split between gaming and fixing his racecar. He also does photography in his spare time.

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  • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

    The 7 people that use Google Wallet will be crushed by this news.

    • Vijay Gupta

      Thanks to Verizon, we can’t use this app, even if we wanted to.

      • Ryan

        The fact that Verizon doesn’t allow you to install it on their phones sounds illegal to me. I thought the phone companies weren’t allowed to tell you what apps you can and can’t use on their phones. Didn’t the FCC recently say Verizon couldn’t block tether apps? Yet blocking Google Wallet is okay?

        To get around this, I use an app that changes the phones model identification and therefore allows me to use Wallet. (search for Wallet Installer)

        But…..only two places in town accept Good Wallet. 7-11 and Walgreens. The lack of support from the stores is what is killing Wallet, IMO.

        • clocinnorcal

          That is so true. I have a Wallet account but in my town only BestBuy and a handful of gas stations have NFC payments and only half of those stores actually have it set up. The lack of adoption in the real world, and for online purchases outside of the playstore, has really kept Wallet from any kind of success. It’s too bad.

          • yankeesusa

            Very true. It goes the same way for the ios passbook. For that the store has to have a scanner that works and most don’t have it. Starbucks has it and I think target has it too. I think overall stores just prefer people to use cc even though its more of a problem sometimes when a credit card strip is worn out. Then they have to enter all the numbers manually. With nfc the clerk never has to do anything except hit accept.

        • yankeesusa

          In florida its available at almost every gas station, at cvs, at mcdonalds, at best buy, at burdines and some mom and pop shops. A lot of people are starting to have it. Walgreens has the units but they have never activated them because of some security issue. I think they are waiting on new units that have the built in nfc reader in the screen to prevent anyone from messing with it.

    • AAM

      Hey Taylor,

      Any Moto X updates?

    • YMS123

      Probably the same people who use their tablet as a camera…

    • yankeesusa

      Its sad that low adoption has ruined this great payment system. Its not only secure but its easy to use. I love not having to have my wallet when I go into a gas station,cvs,mcdonalds or best buy. Not only that its safer to a certain degree too. I hope google decides to make a big push on google wallet and offers incentives to businesses to push things along.

    • triangle

      Glad to see you’re still around. Thanks for all of the Moto intel.

    • Robbzilla

      I’m one of those “7 people,” and I’m a little sad. My phone bit the big one and I’m on a backup phone (Old EVO) and miss my wallet.

  • Nate B.

    Yea, lemme just pull out my 7 inch tablet to pay for this since I forgot my wallet smh. This isn’t important. Maybe it would have been cool to still be able to utilize the settings or be able to change info but it makes more sense for the phone to just have it.

    • nivekkev

      Yeah, I agree with you on this one…

      • farside

        If I am not mistaken, just because Google is not supporting the current version of Google Wallet in the Nexus 7 does not mean that it will remain unsupported in the future. Google could still use a cloud based NFC Wallet which would allow someone to use the Nexus 7 at a retailer to purchase goods. A cloud-based NFC wallet does not require the secure element to do a transaction….it only requires the NFC host controller which the Nexus 7 has.

  • Lexus 7

    Nexus 7 FAIL

    • MC_Android

      I watched that last gif at least 5 times and I can’t see how the car moved by itself then stopped unless someone was inside?

      • Cory

        her boyfriend was inside, they were stealing gas and the clerk approached them., spooked her BF who took off.

        • Robbzilla

          Or maybe they were in Oregon or New Jersey where’s it’s illegal to pump your own gas.

  • R.S

    Ahh Google Wallet. So much potential but so little support. :-\

  • fenlon

    Even if it did have it, how many users would have their tablet is a handy place to pull out an pay with out holding up a line or looking like a goof. No loss here,

    • yankeesusa

      Very true. Google wallet is only efficient on a phone with a constant data connection. Even the square phone payments require data. On a tablet that is just wifi it is too cumbersome to use.

      • Unibrow

        except for the fact you DON’T need a data connection to use wallet, only to setup and choose a default payment card.

  • revs

    what shame this wa smy fav feature on my nex 4

    was so pissed my one didint support it

    really a great feature

  • cor3y

    here’s the thing: regardless of how little support/participation for the program there is, no matter how ridiculous it looks swiping a 7-inch tab for your gas instead of a CC, the point is it should be there, for the customer to use should they choose to. two of the most alluring things about android: 1) the choice to use it how you want 2) technological advances that set the trends, not the other way around. these are supposed to be next-gen devices that can do it all, and you even included the damn NFC chip, but not the component that allows it to perform its magic?! Big fail. My last-gen, Verizon-branded GNex (read: aosp fail) device even uses wallet flawlessly with a modded apk. this is very disappointing.

  • Joey

    I have the Galaxy Nexus and Google Wallet is so slow at loading, entering the PIN, that it’d be faster to pay with check or nickels. Waiting for the next Nexus phone (and praying there is no Samsung logo attached) and if it has it, I’m hoping it will be usable. Several stores I go to actually support paying by NFC, but the six times I’ve tried have resulted in me apologizing after several minutes and pulling out my debit card.

    • yankeesusa

      Usually the reason gwallet fails is because the phone picks up a wifi connection and wants you to activate it. If you are on 3g or lte the wallet works everytime. This happens if you start remembering wifi info, the phone tries to connect. Out of the dozens of times I use nfc it has only failed once, and thats because wifi was active and I needed to agree to the terms. I now never remember wifi, especially since its not safe to do that anyway.

      • Joey

        Thanks. I’m planning on upgrading to the new Nexus (or, if Samsung, something else) and hoping that the better processor will help. I have the new N7 (replacing orig. kindle fire) and it’s so smooth with everything it does I can’t imagine having any trouble.

  • monte vannortwick

    I use google wallet with nfc on my Nexus 4 all the time. It even works if no internet connectivity. Many stores near me take it. It only takes a second to enter my pin. It works great! I like it better than my credit card.

  • Clay

    I have Sprint and a Galaxy S4… I love the premise, but Google Wallet simply doesn’t work, even when it is supposed to. My credit card even has tap to pay service on some POS systems in addition to swipe to pay; that works, but Google Wallet just doesn’t.

    • yankeesusa

      You must be using it wrong. It works for me 100% of the time. Used it yesterday at a gas station then got a sundae at mcdonalds with no fuss. Best thing for me is before you get to the register so its quicker is to open gwallet, enter pin and then once you place an order and are ready to pay you don’t have to enter pin on the phone, its quick and simple, all that may need to be done is to push credit or debit. You may want to take your phone to get it checked.

      • Cory

        If he’s using it wrong then the system isn’t as intuitive as it should be. I never use it anymore because I’m tired of looking like an idiot when the scanner doesn’t work, or for whatever reason the payment doesn’t go through.

  • donger

    But mobile payments are awesome.

  • An Android Developer

    This could go two ways: Google drops Wallet, or the sensible thing where only phones have it. It makes sense to me because a tablet would be ridiculous to use for this. And NFC support is in a lot of places! A few gas stations and even stores have it up here in a small town of way less then 10,000 citizens, most don’t even live in the boundries of the city!

  • MC_Android

    You still need a wireless connection to use Wallet so on a non-cellular tablet, it would’ve been difficult to use it anyway. Looking like an idiot comes free :)

  • Gee

    Seems like NFC payment is dead and everyone uses iOS passbook

    • yankeesusa

      Don’t know what you mean. My wife had her ios passbook set up and it never worked. We tried using at starbucks, never worked, at target never worked. I have seen several people use nfc to pay but never anyone with ios passbook.

      • Gub8

        I think you are doing something wrong, passbook does work very well with starbucks (my gf uses this all the time) and i dont use it because i hate everything apple…

    • Robbzilla

      Except that the next Apple phone is reputed to have NFC and wallet-like capabilities… Guess we’ll see tomorrow if that rumor pans out. But won’t you feel silly if it does?

  • yankeesusa

    I use google wallet with nfc all the time. That is all i use at almost every gast station I go to. I use it at all cvs. On trips I use it at more gas stations. I also use it at mcd’s and at best buy. Even burdines has nfc. Its more convinient than using my credit card as I never have to enter pin in front of anyone and if I lose my phone it will take someone hours before they can hack my password on my phone and then my pin on google wallet. By that time I will have disabled it online. If I lost my wallet they could use my credit cards at several stores before I had a chance to call and cancel. Its a win win to use gwallet nfc payments.

  • SGB101

    No a big deal for the nexus 7, however the way the trend is going it isn’t good news for Google wallet as whole.

    • Ruthie A. Leftwich

      my buddy’s mother-in-law makes ($)70/hour on the internet. She has been fired from work for ten months but last month her payment was ($)21593 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this site… c­a­n9­9.â„‚­â„´­M

  • Kyle Etsler

    I can’t get this vision out of my mind whenever I think of google wallet on a tablet.

    “That will be $45.75 sir.”
    *Pulls out 7 inch tablet*

  • hurracayne

    Perhaps the LTE equipped model will have proper support since it will have a cellular radio.

  • TruFactz

    Man I wish T-Mobile would let you use it. My S4 would be awesome with it.

  • Scott Wilhelm

    I don’t understand why people say there are no places that take google wallet. Everywhere I look here (and I live in east bum-f*ck) I see mastercard pay-pass terminals, and every single one of these accept google wallet. 7-11, walgreens, cumberland farms, mobile, shell, best buy, and even some grocery stores, just to name a few.

    Unfortunately, people just aren’t giving it the attention it deserves. Maybe if Google would actually advertise it and let the general population know it’s out there people would start using it. Yes, the lack of devices supporting it also does not help. It really pains me when someone behind me in line sees me using it, then when they ask I have no choice but to tell them “yeah….it’s cool, but you can never use it on your phone.” They just give me a dirty look like I think I’m better than them and it’s an awkward end to a conversation that starts with SO MUCH potential. And that, imo, proves there is a serious interest in this technology…..but people look at it as a tech they will never get their hands on, so why even bother.

  • Gamemaster

    I used to use gwallet all the time at gas stations during my business trips when I had the S3. Loved the convenience. Then I got a Note 2 and rooted it. Now that sprint has allowed gwallet on the note 2 mine doesn’t work I’m guessing because of the root. Anyone know to fix it? I currently can only use it to make Google play purchases.

    • Robbzilla

      Check XDA’s Note 2 Forums. If anyone knows, they will.

  • Me

    The new Nexus 5 coming out in just a few weeks has the NFC and Google Wallet. I just used Google Wallet to pay my brother with just his email and it works great! Subway, Mac Donalds, CVS and most grocery stores use Google Wallet so I don’t see it dying off any time soon.

  • The Werewolf

    Not to mention, it only works (sort of) in one country: the US.

    Considering that PayPass is everywhere up here in Canada, if Goog had managed a way to turn an NFC phone or tablet into a PayPass compatible ‘card’, it would usable in a lot of places.