Google confirms Wallet software glitch afflicting Sprint's Evo 4G LTE
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has confirmed that it is working to fix a software issue preventing some consumers from using its Wallet contactless payment service.
Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) subscribers with the Android-powered HTC Evo 4G LTE smartphone have voiced multiple complaints over their inability to properly access Google Wallet--some were unable to set up Wallet accounts on their device, while other users received an alert stating "Unfortunately, Google Wallet has not yet been certified in your country or on your device/carrier."
Google told The Verge that the snafus stem from a "software problem" with the Evo 4G LTE's Near Field Communications component, and that it should be able to resolve the issues with a software update. Google added it is collaborating with both Sprint and HTC on the patch. Google declined to specify a timeframe for the Wallet update, but said it would be arriving "soon."
The software glitch is the latest in a series of challenges facing Google Wallet, introduced with much fanfare in May 2011. The service enables consumers to make purchases by tapping their Android smartphone at any MasterCard PayPass-enabled merchant terminal. Google Wallet also includes support for SingleTap, which allows users to redeem coupons and/or earn rewards points. In February, Google was forced to temporarily halt prepaid card provisioning capabilities to Wallet while it patched a vulnerability that left the service open to criminal attack.
Perhaps more significant than its technical issues, Google Wallet has struggled to gain traction with mobile operators and consumers. Although Sprint introduced a handful of Android smartphones supporting the service, Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile USA have shunned Google Wallet as they continue building out their own nationwide m-commerce network, Isis, slated to begin consumer trials later this year. In addition, NFC Times reported that Sprint is planning its own rival contactless payment initiative, casting doubt on where Google Wallet fits into its plans moving forward.
In March, Bloomberg reported Google is considering sharing Wallet revenues with operators to expand the service to additional Android devices and galvanize consumer adoption. Another possibility under consideration, sources told Bloomberg: Google may sidestep operators altogether, relying more heavily on in-store point-of-sale systems to process Google Wallet transactions.
- read this Verge article
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