Verizon is the country’s largest carrier, and with good reason. It offers exclusive devices like the Droid DNA, while some not so exclusive devices have the carrier’s own touch. But for some reason, Verizon has been pretty reluctant in installing Google Wallet in its smartphones when other carriers didn’t seem to have a problem. When Verizon was asked why it doesn’t include Google Wallet in its devices, it blatantly denied that it was excluding the app by intention. But people knew Verizon was doing it on purpose, but the motive behind that was not clear. Verizon users were not able to download the app on the Google Play Store either.
And now the company has responded to a user complaint regarding the issue and given clarity on why it doesn’t include the app, although indirectly. Still refusing that it intentionally removes the app from its devices, Verizon said, if it were to remove the app, it would be because not all smartphones support NFC (without which Google Wallet cannot function). While Verizon does have a point, it’s rather hard to imagine why it wouldn’t preload the app on devices that come with NFC. The carrier didn’t explicitly mention NFC, but rather used the term “secure element which isn’t available on all handsets”. Verizon mentioned that the app would be ready and up if Google removed the requirement of NFC. Now why would Google do that, when that is what makes the app stand out from the rest of the competition? It just doesn’t make sense.
Alternatively, Verizon is backing a similar app project called Isis, which utilizes NFC enabled SIM cards to make Google Wallet like transactions. Isis could be launched next year and it would be rather odd on Verizon’s part to allow that, while not allowing Google Wallet. I’m certain Verizon wouldn’t want to come out as a hypocrite to its users. So it would be very interesting to see Verizon’s approach towards Isis when it comes out as a fully finished product.
Google Wallet is essentially a very secure way to make transactions while providing convenience which no other service would offer. It’s surprising that Verizon would shy away from a service like this and give petty excuses like the one given above. Let’s hope the carrier works in co-ordination with Google to bring the app to its NFC enabled devices. Because carrier support for an app like Google Wallet is very crucial. NFC is still picking up slowly everywhere and there are very few places where Google Wallet can make use of its full potential. So it would behoove carriers to enable its devices to use the feature when the hardware supports it.
Do you use Google Wallet on your non Verizon device? How useful do you find it?