Google expands usefulness of Google Wallet, but US carriers block consumer access

Summary:The amount of carrier control over a service like Google Wallet may be grounds for Google to sue and with the new functionality to add any credit or debit card maybe we will see Visa or MasterCard step up and challenge carriers.

Rachel's earlier post about Google Wallet and the new support for all major credit and debit cards gets me excited since I use Google Wallet on my Nexus 7 and Galaxy Nexus devices. Only using one specific card, that I don't have, or a prepaid Google account always limited my use so tying other cards to it is a great development. However, Google still has to overcome the US wireless carrier barrier that prevents us from using Google Wallet on every carrier, but Sprint. Maybe now that more credit card companies can be used with Google Wallet they will jump on board and demand that carriers stop blocking access.

It's sad that carriers have the power to limit use of such a service and this lockdown is one reason I like using my Galaxy Nexus on both T-Mobile and AT&T. Even though my T-Mobile Galaxy S III is a superior piece of hardware, the carrier control drives me crazy. I understand they are holding out for the ISIS system, but since they don't get a cut of anything why can't they just let consumers use the service provided to them by the operating system?

I know people are afraid to use Google Wallet in case your phone is lost, but IMHO it is safer to use Google Wallet on a phone than to have a credit card in a wallet. If you do lose your phone or it is stolen, the person who has it would have to also know your PIN for Google Wallet. In addition, Google now lets you remotely disable Wallet on that phone through their website. Don't forget you also can have your phone secured with a lock screen security system. This is MUCH more protection than a simple credit card and I look forward to updating the application on my Galaxy Nexus.

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Topics: Mobility, Android, Google


Matthew Miller started using a mobile devices in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since. He is a co-host with GigaOM's Kevin Tofel on the MobileTechRoundup podcast and an author of three Wiley Companion series books. Matthew started using mobile devices with a US Robotics Pilot 1000 and has owned over 200 d... Full Bio

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