Google drops support for NFC payments in pre-KitKat Android handsets

Google drops support for NFC payments in pre-KitKat Android handsets

18 MAR 2014

Google will from next month no longer support contactless NFC-based payments from its wallet on smartphones running old versions of Android.

In an email to users, Google wrote: “We wanted to let you know about an update to Google Wallet that might change the way you use the app. Right now it looks like you’re using tap and pay with a device running an Android version older than 4.4 KitKat. On the newest version of Android, tap and pay works with different technology for an improved experience.”

As a result, from April 14 2014, tap-and-pay NFC will no longer work for handsets with pre-Android 4.4 software, it said.

The story was first reported by Droid Life.

The “different technology” mentioned by Google for KitKat is Host Card Emulation, which enables payments and other NFC-based services to bypass the secure element in the handset.

However, older versions of Android will continue to support a range of other NFC-based services including loyalty cards and offers, money transfer, viewing orders, and using the physical Google Wallet Card to make purchases.


Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

Read more