Verizon used to have a monopoly of sorts in the wireless communications sector, as it was among the first to arrive in the scene at the time. However, with carriers like AT&T and Sprint catching up, there has been an even competition in the U.S. Despite that, VZW still remains the top carrier in the country. However its rules and policies have been heavily criticized. One such policy is with regards to the Google Wallet service. Google unveiled Google Wallet to make full use of the NFC chip on smartphones and make mobile payments a hassle free process. Granted NFC wasn’t as widely used on devices as it is today, but the idea certainly caught on and people began to grow interested in the feature. Verizon however was strictly against Google Wallet. Claiming that it didn’t approve of the app making use of the “secure element” (NFC), which was essential for Google Wallet to work in the first place. But it has now revealed its double standards, by launching the Isis Wallet app which it has been developing and testing along with other carriers. This is basically an alternative of Google Wallet, and also makes use of the so called “secure element” which Verizon opposed to. We now have clarity as to why Verizon was against its devices using Google Wallet, and frankly it seems stupid.
The Isis Mobile Wallet app is now available for use in limited locations (Austin, TX and Salt Lake, UT). Google recently mentioned that it would require carrier co-operation to bring Google Wallet on a wider scale, and it seems like they would now understand Verizon’s stance. Although Isis Mobile Wallet is available in limited locations for now, we could see it expanding to other key locations of the country. Google Wallet would still be preferred by many users, to be honest but Verizon wants to work in its own way. Unfortunately for Verizon users, the carrier has blocked Google Wallet even from the Google Play Store. However, there is a way for VZW users to get Google Wallet working on their device which requires either rooting the device or sideloading an APK (which the carrier doesn’t endorse). But honestly, it’s not about getting the app working on your VZW device but merely about how Verizon deals with its partners so as to accommodate for its own half-baked product. During the posting of this article, there are already plenty of users opposed to this move by Verizon and we will certainly find more in due time.
We are waiting for a word from Verizon on this one, so as to see how it will explain itself. I don’t think the customers would have a problem with having both Google Wallet and Isis Mobile Wallet installed on their VZW smartphone. It’s just that the carrier wants to sabotage Google Wallet entirely, so that the users have no other option but to use what Verizon wants them to use. Let’s see how Google react to this one.