Google Wallet, what with its NFC-based mobile payment system – has long struggled to attract interest. At times it almost seems like there’s a conspiracy trying to keep it from finding mainstream success, yet so far Google’s kept putting up the good fight. Lately, however, there’s been the sense that even Google could be tiring of Wallet, and it looked like the company was backing away from its plans for a physical Google Wallet card. Now, the new Nexus 7 has launched, and despite being a pure-Google device, free from carrier meddling, it lacks basic hardware support for Wallet; is this the beginning of the end?
Flash back to a year ago, and Google was excited about Wallet – while the early Nexus 7s distributed to I/O attendees couldn’t use Wallet out of the box, Google had a Wallet-enabling update ready to go nearly as soon as retail orders started shipping.
This year, Google was mum about Wallet during the new Nexus 7 launch, and for good reason – it turns out that this time around the tablet lacks the secure element needed to store payment info. Basically, Google and ASUS knowingly released hardware that will never be able to use Google Wallet, no matter what future updates are issued.
We know – many of you still see NFC payments as a gimmick, and a lot fewer people are going to be interested in making payments with a tablet, rather than a Wallet-supporting phone – but we can’t help but see this as Google publicly turning its back on Wallet.