Google wallet heralds a future the carriers don’t want

We use our phones every day. We take them with us almost everywhere we go, even to the toilet. It goes along in every get-up, every party, every trip and every meeting. We take it with us to go shopping as well. We take it along sometimes even more often than our own wallets. So why not make it your wallet, too?

Google Wallet is a concept that allows users to register and keep their card details within the app so they can use it later on to make payments. This is done by using the NFC technology that Google constantly promotes to the world. Google tries to make it a point that every new Android device should have NFC capability so that it can make the technology more widespread, hoping that Google Wallet will be as widespread as their phones.

Recent updates revamped the Google Wallet to make it even more secure. The card details are no longer stored within a “secure” location in the phone. It is now stored within a “secure” location in Google’s servers. Hopefully, they really made that secure, as it would be a nightmare for Google if someone were to hack that server. It would place Google Wallet in a road to its downfall.

The switch to a secure server has allowed Google to add more card types into the NFC payment scheme. Banks are encouraged to add their card portfolio with Google Wallet by offering the service as free. The Google Wallet app only stores an encryption key that will allow the device to connect to Google’s secure servers.

Many users are concerned that aside from NFC, an internet connection is required. Google hints that is not the case. Sure you will need the net to switch cards to use, but once a card is chosen, the card can be used anytime with NFC. The transaction is stored within the device, and then later on uploaded to Google servers.

Along with the function, updates are new features that allow you to lock your wallet remotely, and even wipe information from the device. Sure, you are out a couple hundred dollars, but at least you won’t be out with more if you just lose your phone. As Google points out, you can’t wipe a regular wallet full of cards unlike Google Wallet.

There are thousands of Paypass terminals now available in the US. The only problem is that not all NFC enabled phones are able to use Google Wallet. No, it is not due to the phone’s capabilities, but rather because the carriers block the app itself. Carriers don’t earn a thing from the transactions, and they want to have a payment system that uses their own ISIS instead, so they can get a cut out of the purse. This is an anti-competitive approach, preventing the option of choosing which service to use. Hopefully, if more banks are using the Google Wallet system, the carriers may be forced to release their hold. Are you excited about the new Google Wallet?

Image sources: droid-life.com, googleblog.blogspot.com, news.cnet.com

Sprint to unveil own version of online wallet

Telecommunications giant, Sprint is reportedly launching their own version of the Google Wallet.

To be called “Touch”, Sprint’s mobile wallet is rumored to be launched as early as this summer. Unlike Google Wallet, the company is said to want to create a relationship with banks and other service providers.

According to a report by NFC Times, “The limitation isn’t the wallet’ the limitation is the secure element.”
CNET contacted Sprint to comment about the NFC Times report and the company sent this: “In keeping with our open approach, Sprint is actively working with others in the mobile payment ecosystem. We will continue to bring practical, easy-to-use mobile payment solutions to customers on Sprint devices, however, we don’t not have any new to share at this time.”

Google is the first company to launch their own digital wallet. Other companies have been toying with the idea, but have not yet released their own wallet.

Sprint is currently the only network backing up the Google Wallet. If the reports are true that the company is going to release their own version of the wallet, it is unclear whether they’d still continue to carry Google’s wallet or would they be discarding it for their own.

Are you willing to use you smartphones to purchase products?

Image Source: uberphones.com

Samsung Galaxy Nexus on Sprint has Google Wallet

Sprint has finally unveiled their Samsung Galaxy Nexus which made its debut at the Consumer Electronics Week in Vegas yesterday.

The Galaxy Nexus is powered by Android’s latest 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with a Super AMOLED screen that is 4.65-inches, it definitely packs a mean punch.

Sprint Galaxy Nexus package is quite different to that being offered by Verizon. Sprint’s package includes the Google Wallet which enables those who have a Citi MasterCard or a Google prepaid card to sign up for an account with Google Wallet that in-turn gives them the ability to use their phone at participating stores to pay for their goods.

The Verizon version of the 4G LTE Galaxy Nexus won the CNET Editor’s Choice Award and Sprint’s variant may follow suit as long as their LTE network backs it up.

Though Sprint didn’t divulge when it will be available to their subscribers, but the fact is when they do release it, you might find a lot of individuals paying for their merchandise with their phones and not wallets.

Image source: Androidtapp.com

Samsung Galaxy Nexus release today

At last, the much awaited Galaxy Nexus will finally be in stores today,December 15.

The latest Samsung release carries with it its new operating system called the Ice Cream Sandwich. The smartphone is already available in Canada and some parts of the world.

Verizon, the one responsible for the distribution of the Galaxy Nexus in the U.S., has not released a statement regarding the late release or the smartphone. But the company tweeted last Wednesday that the smartphone will be available the next day.

One possible reason for the delay might be Verizon’s decision not to include Google Wallet on their Galaxy Nexus. The reason for Verizon’s reluctance to include the feature on the Galaxy Nexus is technical issues. But some individuals does not buy Verizon’s excuse. Some have speculated that the reason they didn’t include the feature is because Verizon is developing its own mobile wallet initiative.

The Galaxy Nexus’ OS, the Ice Cream Sandwich, includes updates on a lot of features. The smartphones camera has zero shutter lag and has its own facial recognition mechanism.

No Google Wallet for Galaxy Nexus

People who want to purchase the Google Galaxy Nexus for their near-field communications chip for shopping may be frustrated with the news that Verizon – the only official carrier for the Galaxy Nexus – has stated that they will not be supporting Google Wallet in its phones. Google confirmed the report the the carrier asked Google not to install the feature in the Galaxy Nexus.

But reports have said that Verizon is still in talks with Google regarding the Google Wallet application.

According to Verizon spokesperson Jeffrey Nelson that the Google Wallet is a different application thus making them think twice before including the feature on their Nexus package.

In a statement he said that, “Google Wallet does not simply access the operating system and basic hardware of our phones like thousands of other applications. He also added that, “instead, in order to work as architected by Google, Google Wallet needs to be integrated into a new, secure and proprietary hardware element in our phones.”

Free Press, a known media reform group said last Tuesday that the carrier’s decision is going to hurt the consumers, rival companies and technological advancement and illustrates the need for a stronger consumer protection from the Federal Communications Commission.

The release of the Galaxy Nexus has been shrouded in mystery. Verizon has been mum about the date of the release to the market and at the same time they’ve been quiet as to how much the phone will cost.

Though there have been reports that the new phone will cost around $299.99. Fairly equal to other premium smartphones standard price.

Two Verizon smartphones are priced at $299.99. These are the Droid RAZR and the HTC Rezound.

According to some analysts, the Galaxy Nexus is the most viable rival to Apple’s IPhone. The Galaxy Nexus even edges out the IPhone on Verizon’s 4G network capability and it boasts of Google’s latest OS, the Ice Cream Sandwich.