Google Wallet tap and pay will soon only work on KitKat and higher

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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 A​p​r​i​l 1​4, 2​0​1​4, 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

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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.

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4 thoughts on “Google Wallet tap and pay will soon only work on KitKat and higher

  • Avatar of Bill
    March 14, 2014 at 2:49 pm
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    I haven’t been keeping up on this: does Google Wallet work on Verizon devices yet?

    Reply
    • Avatar of John Freml
      March 17, 2014 at 6:00 am
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      The newest versions should… the big deal about Google’s latest version is that it doesn’t need a secure element, which is what many carriers were using to keep it restricted.

      Reply
  • Avatar of weirdroid
    March 14, 2014 at 4:03 pm
    Permalink

    I’ve used tap and pay only a few times, maybe once it just worked seamlessly. It might not be signed in or if your data connection is zilch (Sprint) it won’t complete the transaction. Definitely early days and still easier to carry a card.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Joe
    March 15, 2014 at 9:32 am
    Permalink

    You Don’t need a Data Connection to do a transaction with NFC Google Wallet. You only need a data connection to sign in, add/change Credit Card or add Cash to Wallet.

    Once you sign-in, say at home in the morning you can use Wallet without a data connection until you power off the phone. The new HCE method MAY need a data connection which could be a serious liability at many locations.

    Reply

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