Google Wallet has just played a very important next move in its battle against rival Isis.
The latest version of Android, KitKat, brought with it a new feature called Host Card Emulation (HCE), in the hopes of giving its Google Wallet a serious shot in the arm through the use of NFC technology.
Now, that effort looks as though it might have been a very promising strategy as it has gained massive credit card provider support.
Both Visa and MasterCard have now declared that they will be supporting HCE so that consumers can use their devices for mobile payments. This could be the break that Google Wallet has been waiting for, and could meant that Isis has quite a rocky future not too far ahead. HCE was designed, in part, to help to undermine the role that wireless carriers play when consumers pay for products and services using their mobile devices, as the card data is retained in the cloud, instead of in a secure chip on the gadget, itself.
In response, credit card companies have now worked their way back into the picture and have boosted Google’s mobile payments hopes, at the same time.
As carriers typically control the secure chip in a device, Google was finding that it was facing problems when its Wallet was being blocked, causing consumers to turn to Isis, another smartphone wallet that has been working to gain traction, and that has the advantage of being backed by three of the largest carriers in the country.
Now that Visa and MasterCard have signed on to support HCE, it looks as though the carriers don’t have as much control over whether or not credit cards can be used securely over smartphones outside of its own mobile wallet. This could lead to a considerably greater adoption of Google Wallet as consumers now realize that they have a viable alternative choice.
This support of HCE has leveled the playing field for all smartphone based wallet providers, not just between Google and Isis. It has opened the doors to networks, issuers, retailers, and others, as well. Furthermore, it has re-opened the opportunities available for the use of NFC technology based mobile payments – a method that was slowly withering until this point.