Google Wallet cuts tap and pay for old versions of Android

Google Wallet has signalled its growing support of Host-based Card Emulation (HCE) by cutting off tap and pay solutions for devices that do not run the latest version of Android – 4.4 KitKat.

Google Wallet has signalled its growing support of Host-based Card Emulation (HCE) by cutting off tap and pay solutions for devices that do not run the latest version of Android – 4.4 KitKat.

From April 14, devices hosting older versions of Android operating system will no longer be supported for NFC payments. However, all other features of the wallet app will continue to operate.

HCE allows NFC cards to route data to the host CPU on which Android applications are running directly, instead of routing through a secure element, letting users pay with their smartphones, while permitting banks to host payment accounts in a secure virtual cloud.

Google introduced support for SIM-based NFC payments in 2010, relying on the cooperation with telephone companies. By supporting HCE, the tech giant moved to bypass these companies and is now killing off all support for SIM-based payments.

Last month, Visa and MasterCard followed Google in supporting HCE. They both announced a new set of tools and apps designed to make it easier for banks to adopt HCE as an alternative from mobile airtime operators.

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