When Google released the Nexus 7 refresh earlier this year, we learnt a little letter that the device that debuted bringing a lot that the original Nexus 7 did not have but unfortunately, the new device lacked support for Google Wallet, Google’s NFC-based mobile payment service because it lacks the BCM20793M NFC chip that securely stores payment information.
After some digging, a Reddit user has discovered that a leaked Nexus 5 manual shows that Google’s newest smartphone set to be launched in a few days, if the rumors are true, has the same NFC chip is now on the company’s newest smartphone. The issue here therefore is that it would be strange that Google’s next flagship smartphone and high end device could come with a chip that has always made Google Wallet work when its predecessor did not have.
This could mean two things: The LG Nexus 5 smartphone may not have the BCM20793M chip and Google could be seeking to make changes to the Wallet altogether by changing how it works because the leaked manual could have had an error or an incorrect indication. The other theory is that the BCM20793M chip could have been modified in a way to eliminate the need for secure storage of Google Wallet data and as it turns out, Google had in the recent past filed for a patent for a system like this.
I guess the second theory makes much sense because Google Wallet is growing in popularity and adoption and there is no way Google would shut it down. It could mean that Google Wallet will soon be a service or a product not tied to Android but for any device with NFC. Rooting a device would in this case not be necessary to have Google Wallet work and the service could soon be standard.
Just like any other budding service, Google Wallet services has had its issues and complaints from customers, the most common revolving around security. Google could have come up with an unbeatable way to ensure the security of data stored in the device and the security of data being sent and received via NFC or other media without the BCM20793M chip. There is no proof that this is the case but if Google is making Wallet available on more devices, even non-Android, then it is setting itself up to be a major product in the market.
So, the question is, will Google kill the Wallet or is it on the Launchpad to become something big?