Google’s NFC payment system has historically been an Android-only affair. In fact, not all Android devices can take advantage of the service thanks to the reliance on that NFC chip, as well as the requirement for smartphone carriers to sign off on the technology before it is implemented. Things may be changing though, with the news that a new version of Google Wallet is in the offing.
Google has today opened up the new version of Google Wallet, or at least, it’s opened up pre-registering for an invite to said Google Wallet update. Interestingly though, it seems that the NFC requirement may not be long for this life. Why? Because Apple’s NFC-less iPhone may be set to join in with the Google Wallet fun this time around.
Signing up to request an invite to the new release of Google Wallet leaves eager users with one option that we did not expect. During the process, Google asks which device those signing up will want to use Google Wallet on. In the middle of the three options, clear as day, is Apple’s iOS. That’s right, the iPhone may be getting Google Wallet despite not having an NFC chip to call its own. In fact, the lack of NFC chip was possibly the most noteworthy omission from everyone’s wish list when the iPhone 5 was announced. Maybe it didn’t matter after all!
So, how’s all that going to work then? We’re hoping that Google will tie Google Wallet into Apple’s new Passbook feature, but we won’t be holding our breath just yet. In fact, this little sign-up page doesn’t actually prove anything concrete, and until we see Google Wallet running on an iPhone for real, we’ll be holding back on the fireworks.
We are all signed up to the Google Wallet invite list though, so we’ll be sure to keep an eye on proceedings, ready to run on down to our local store to test Google Wallet out. Until then though, we’ll just make do with the Starbucks app and Passbook!
Google Wallet lets people buy products using their smartphone, removing the need to carry around credit and debit cards but it also relies on stores accepting it as a payment method. The addition of the iPhone to its stable of compatible smartphones could do wonder for adoption across the globe.