Verizon Will Not Block Google Wallet… Yet

What's Next In Payments®
11:22 PM EDT December 6th, 2011

December 6, 2011

Late yesterday afternoon, Verizon rebuffed rampant reports that it planned to bar the Google Wallet payment app from its newest smartphones.

“Recent reports that Verizon is blocking Google Wallet on our devices are false,” Verizon spokesman Jeffrey Nelson said in a statement, according to Reuters.

Talks between the two companies are ongoing, the spokesman added. (Related Op-Ed - Verizon May Say No: Where Does This Leave Google Wallet?)

The Web was abuzz earlier in the day after a Google spokesman reportedly stated that Verizon had asked Google not to put the app on the Galaxy Nexus smartphone. The device, which rolls out next month, is produced by Google and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. The smartphone employs Google’s Android software.

“Verizon said that because Google Wallet did ‘not simply access the operating system and basic hardware of our phones like thousands of other applications,’ the service ‘needs to be integrated into a new, secure and proprietary hardware element in our phones,’” Reuters reports.

As of late Tuesday afternoon, Reuters reports that Google had not yet commented further regarding this story.

Verizon is part of the mobile commerce JV, ISIS, along with U.S. carriers AT&T and T-Mobile. MPD CEO Karen Webster writes that the distribution possibilities for Google Wallet would be dramatically reduced should Verizon end up deciding to block the app.

“Google’s mobile payments strategy, a wallet on a chip in a phone, by design unfortunately for them, also means that an operator is very much in the mix,” Webster explains. “It’s a fatal flaw in the whole NFC mobile payments scheme and is why my view of success with mobile payments, consistently, has been about mobile wallets that live in the cloud, far, far away and completely disassociated from mobile operators. That approach means that wallets can follow consumers regardless of which handset or operator a consumer decides they want to use and a service provider wants to enable.”

Click here to continue reading her full commentary on this developing story.

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