Attention all HTC EVO 4G LTE owners (or anyone else with an Android device that’s not on KitKat) – starting one month from today, on April 14, Google Wallet will no longer support tap and pay functionality on any device that doesn’t run at least Android 4.4.
This is mainly due to the way that NFC payments now work in Google Wallet. Instead of using a secure element, Google Wallet now uses an emulator to accomplish the same end result, which is why a device like the Google Nexus 5, which launched with KitKat, doesn’t even contain a secure element.
Google is currently sending out emails (copied below) to people who are using Google Wallet on a potentially affected device. While this is certainly disappointing news, technology does change – and so does the need for the rest of us to catch up!
We wanted to let you know about an update to Google Wallet that might change the way you use the app. Right now it looks like you’re using tap and pay with a device running an Android version older than 4.4 KitKat. On the newest version of Android, tap and pay works with different technology for an improved experience. As a result, starting on April 14, 2014, tap and pay will no longer work for devices with older Android versions.
Tap and pay will be available for most devices running Android 4.4 KitKat. If you are able to upgrade to KitKat now, you can check if your device supports tap and pay. Supported devices will display a tile in your “My Wallet” screen that tells you to set up tap and pay. For devices that are not eligible for Android 4.4 KitKat or don’t support tap and pay, you can still use the Google Wallet app to store all of your loyalty cards and offers, send money to your friends, view your orders, and use the Google Wallet Card to make purchases.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for continuing to be a loyal Wallet user.
If you have any questions, please visit our Help Center. Sincerely, The Google Wallet Team