Google Wallet launched yesterday but with only the Nexus S 4G handset supported so far and no mention of the NFC sticker system revealed last May, reports SlashGear. The stickers were originally intended as a workaround for those without the WiMAX Android phone but now Google’s Wallet site and the official launch announcement are conspicuously vague on the stickers.
The NFC stickers are at a disadvantage compared to how the Nexus S 4G is set up. In the handset, the Secure Element locks up customers’ credit card details in a separate chip isolated from the phone’s main operating system and hardware and uses encrypted protocols to enforce access control. PIN access is also required whenever a payment is to be made, temporarily enabling the NFC chip and unlocking a person’s card credentials so that they can be read by the vendor’s device.
Google Wallet stickers would lack those same security policies and are only intended to be linked with a single credit card, using the cloud to communicate with the Google Wallet app itself. With the Nexus S 4G system, however, no network connection is required for the phone to make payments.
It’s looking like the Google Wallet stickers don’t entirely fit in with Google’s overall plans for the service, although Google has licensed Visa payWave – which uses passive NFC rather than a Secure Element system, and is limited to sub-$25 transactions – as another option in the existing Google Wallet experience.
Read more at SlashGear.