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

High performance access to file storage

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.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.