Wallet is a product that Google has been trying to make work for years now but it just will not stick. Wallet was started as Google’s big push with NFC and wireless payments and has since evolved it into an application for your membership accounts with businesses, online coupon/deals, online payments, and also physical NFC based in-store payments. Until Android 4.4 KitKat Wallet was a stand alone application that carriers could block from their devices. With the change to the Wallet system in KitKat, Google is planning some dramatic changes to the platform.
“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, starting on April 14, 2014, tap and pay will no longer work for devices with older Android versions.
Tap and pay will be available for most devices running Android 4.4 KitKat. If you are able to upgrade to KitKat now, you can check if your device supports tap and pay. Supported devices will display a tile in your “My Wallet” screen that tells you to set up tap and pay. For devices that are not eligible for Android 4.4 KitKat or don’t support tap and pay, you can still use the Google Wallet app to store all of your loyalty cards and offers, send money to your friends, view your orders, and use the Google Wallet Card to make purchases.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for continuing to be a loyal Wallet user.
If you have any questions, please visit our Help Center. Sincerely, The Google Wallet Team”
Like I was saying before, some Google Wallet features have now been built into the KitKat firmware itself. These changes how the Wallet application makes the whole process secure. In past versions of the application the app would use the SIM card or some other chip in the phone as a secure element so that the payment would successfully go through. Now with KitKat, the secure element is emulated within the phone.
So with this change to the Wallet system, Google now longer wants to support older devices (4.3 and older) so starting on April 14th only KitKat devices will be able to use the tap-and-pay functionality. The rest of the application will run smoothly but you will lose that functionality.
If you still want to use your Google Wallet for payments, you can always use the physical card that can be ordered directly from Google.
Source | Google Product Forums
Via | Android Authority