Feeds

Google opens up pay-by-bonk Wallet to all credit cards

If you're happy to pop your details into the ad giant's cloud

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Vid Google has extended its phone-based wallet into its cloud, allowing it to claim that any credit card can now be used to pay with a bonk of the handset.

The arrangement, announced yesterday in a blog posting with suitable video accompaniment, means a Google-Wallet-enabled phone can make payments using wireless Near Field Communications (NFC) with the balance being deducted from just about any credit or debit card - as long as one is prepared to share those card details with Google and you can find an NFC-compatible till to wave your phone over.

Here's how Google is attempting to sell its phone-based payment system to the masses, complete with a confusing cloud metaphor:

Google's (mobile) Wallet resides in a blob of secure storage embedded in half a dozen Android handsets, but the web advertising giant has had a hard time getting credit card providers to port their software that controls the NFC radio hardware to run within that secure component.

US network operators have an alternative secure element, embedded in the SIM and called ISIS, and banks seem unhappy with handing control over to Google, forcing the company to find an alternative approach.

That alternative is basically issuing every user with a short-term instant-payback credit card from MasterCard. That card is installed in the secure element, and authorises payments with the balance being paid off instantly using one of the cards uploaded to the Google cloud.

The idea is to combine the advantages of both cloud and NFC payments. Cloud payments, being pioneered by PayPal, rely on both the customer and the retailer having reasonable connectivity, and charged batteries. NFC payments can be authenticated without any connectivity, and even with a dead phone battery*, but they do need special apps written specifically for each secure element.

Google's idea is to have one special app, able to authenticate when connectivity and/or power is lacking, then take the payment from the customer's real account when connectivity becomes available.

The idea is sound, and removes one barrier to adoption, but the reluctance of companies to put their vouchers and loyalty cards within sight of Google's analytical engines could be a decisive factor in who gets control over wide-scale adoption of NFC payments. ®

* The NFC component can be powered from the cashier's reader, for example, using an induction coil. That also reduces the range from which a NFC device can be read, massively, enhancing security.

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
Surprise: if you work from home you need the Internet
Buffer-rage sends Aussies out to experience road rage
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
MOST iPhone strokers SPURN iOS 8: iOS 7 'un-updatening' in 5...4...
Guess they don't like our battery-draining update?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.