Rumour: Google Wallet to come to AU and UK in January or February 2014

Google Wallet promised to be the solution that would allow us to use our Android powered smartphones with NFC hardware as a virtual credit card, paying for goods without needing to use cash, our credit cards, or even pulling out our wallets. Last year, Beau Giles wrote up an excellent story for Ausdroid on how Google Wallet works, and how (at the time) it could be massaged a little to get it working in Australia.

Sadly, things have changed since back then, and Google Wallet no longer works in Australia in any measurable way. Since this time, many an Ausdroid reader (and many an Ausdroid writer, for that point) has waited for the day when our NFC handsets could be used in such a way.

According to a tip received by Ausdroid this afternoon, from a Google source close to the subject, Google Wallet is soon to be more widely available and will see general availability in Australia and the United Kingdom come January/February 2014.

Citing the lack of secure element in the newly released Nexus 5, and Android 4.4′s ability to use Host Card Emulation (HCE) on compatible NFC hardware to do away with the requirement for a secure element, our source tells us that Google Wallet could beat many local solutions (offered directly by the banks) to market. More importantly, such a service from Google wouldn’t tie users to a particular bank, meaning they could use the one app to access credit cards issued by a number of banks, a great outcome.

We’re certainly keen to see this become a reality, and we’re sure you are too. We do note, however, that this is squarely in the rumour file, and without corroboration from elsewhere, we thoroughly recommend consumption of salt with this news.

Do you know more about Google Wallet coming to Australia? Got any news from any of the Big 4 banks on what’s around the corner? Feel free to Tip Us and we can talk further!

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About the author

Jason hails from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane depending on his mood and how detailed a history you'd like. A web developer by day with an interest in consumer gadgets and electronics, he also enjoys reading comics and has a worryingly... (read more)

  • Alexei Watson

    Does anyone know if these purchases would charge your CC as a google wallet transaction, or would the merchant charge your credit card directly?

    • http://ausdroid.net/ Daniel Tyson

      Not exactly sure.

    • http://ausdroid.net/ Chris

      I suspect it’d be passed-through Google Wallet. It’d be rather difficult (if not questionable) for Google to somehow facilitate a direct charge to your credit card.

      • Alexei Watson

        I suspect so too, but this ‘Tap & pay’ business fills me with some hope, especially seeing as they have mention of rewards.

        My concern is that for my card, google wallet transactions are treated as international transactions, and I get charged a 3% fee.

        Name and shame: WoW qantas card.

        On the other side of it, if all CC transactions were to show as a google wallet purchase, wouldn’t that make credit card services such as insurance and price protection hard to run?

      • Kin Choi

        not if Google wallet is region locked (this is what i think google will be heading) so all charges would be binded by normal law (ie. Australian charges)

    • Kin Choi

      yes it will, basically its like a normal online transaction but it will be recorded in a central manner (ie. Google Wallet)

  • Alex Hutton

    Doesn’t linking it to many types of cards issued by a number of banks require the cooperation of said banks? Wouldn’t the banks that are working on their own proprietary apps (ie commbank) just refuse to participate?

    • http://ausdroid.net/ Daniel Tyson

      No idea, but Mastercard is a partner in the US, so in theory it would just use Mastercard infrastructure and as HCE allows you to emulate the banks card it is probably the way around this limitation.

    • http://ausdroid.net/ Chris

      The way we expect it could work is that Google Wallet gives you a ‘virtual’ credit card, and when you transact on that card, transactions are posted (by Google Wallet) to your nominated credit card of choice.

      Example: You use Wallet at Coles to buy some groceries, and (as far as Coles is concerned) your Google Wallet-equipped device looks like a generic Mastercard.

      The transaction hits Google Wallet’s servers, and charges the same transaction value to your nominated funding source (e.g. your primary Wallet-linked credit card from NAB, CBA or whatever).

      This is how their virtual card seems to work in the US, and how I suspect it’d work here.

  • http://dxpetti.com/ James Pettigrove

    Please please please please

  • Rikki Strachan

    SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY – And transfer it in exchange for goods!

  • Juan Mackie

    Let this be true pleaseee

  • Harpersneil

    You would think that Paypal would want to get involved in this: wouldn’t you? I use Paypal all the time and, with the recently updated app, I can see at a glance all the other retailers which accept Paypal as payment; it’s quite a long list!
    If Paypal got involved, you could bypass all the big banks and Credit institutions couldn’t you?

    • http://ausdroid.net/ Chris

      I’d definitely use a PayPal-backed NFC payment app.

  • Jeffrey Atack

    Does this imply that it would be Nexus 5 only?

    • Kin Choi

      i would think any NFC based device would get it

  • shaboogen

    Outside of the ability to use with any financial institution (presumably), what would be the difference between using Google Wallet and the proposed Commbank NFC payments app upgrade?

    For me personally, Google Wallet isn’t the prize. NFC ticketing on public transport however would be the greatest thing ever, shame it will probably never happen.

    • Benjamen Meiers

      I got a reply from an Apple fanboy who was seemingly a developer for MyWay (NFC public transport ticketing). He laughed at me and said that NFC isn’t going to take off because Apple don’t support it. Such an idiot.

      • JeniSkunk

        The really sad thing is that due to the popularity of iObjects among the mindless flocks of sheeple, he’s likely right. Because if Apple don’t or won’t support something, then as far as the sheeple are trained to not think, it does not and can never exist. So that lack of ability to think independently, will drive the prevention of uptake of any service that Apple does not want to exist.

      • hankoboi

        Hopefully when iPhone users get the app then would be used all over … Having said that, I would love the look on iphone people faces if you can tap and pay with your android phone. And all you do is look at them and say “Oh.. youve got one of those” lol

    • http://YouTube.com/PushkaCom Pushka Gib’en

      They hint that after the full roll-out of the Opal Cards in Sydney, the network will work with the cards, and NFC Phones ~~ /rumor/

  • GingerNutter

    I put my paypass card between the phone and case and boom I’ve got a contactless payment phone. Bit annoying when I get to a shop that uses the older swipe method though.
    Would be great to have GWallet/app to be able to choose which card I want to use and keep track of it all. Hopefully this news will get the banks to pull their finger out.
    I think there’ll also be a need to up the paypass limit of $100 to whatever you like after entering a passcode on your phone.

    • Bakaouji

      LOL. What the fuck is the point of that, other than to look “cool”?

      • Guest

        Maybe the main reason to have Google Wallet in the first place? So you don’t always need to carry your wallet with you.

        What the fuck is your wrong with your brain other than to stop the rocks from rattling?

      • GingerNutter

        Quite simply my good man so I don’t need to carry my wallet with me.

    • http://YouTube.com/PushkaCom Pushka Gib’en

      But if your phone is lost/ stolen – the card is right there, rather than pin-protected and now Android 4.4 has stock “remote wipe” in its system ~
      Also I don’t know about changing technology, but hackers can get portable card readers and steal data through your pocket, but that wouldn’t work with Google Wallet, since you need to login with the pin for it to access the card details ~ so it would be awesome for security ~ ~ <3

      • GingerNutter

        Indeed. The sooner we can get the feature the better.

  • mrjayviper

    HUGE rumor!!! hope it happens though

  • tess1988

    i hope its true, if it works like the US one google will need to get a virtual card provider that will be able to charge our australian credit/debit cards, if google advertised it here like they are doing with NFC music on sydney buses now that i can see some people thinking of moving away from iPhones

  • Simon Hunter

    Just an FYI. I am from UK and when on holiday in the US could use Google Wallet adding my UK credit and debit cards to it! When I came back home to the UK The app still worked but payments were declined and the app said it blocked international transactions.

    So the virtual card already works with UK and I’m guessing any international card.

    It literally just seems to be they need to unblock international transactions.

    I needed a USA sim card for this too.

  • http://YouTube.com/PushkaCom Pushka Gib’en

    That would actually be in the exact same time frame as the Google Music Cloud Service USA -> Australia ~ so hopefully it happens @w@

    Random note for Sydney-siders ~ The train network Opal cards are spreading to all major train stations Jan/feb-ish time, and full roll-out happening through the end of the year, and all buses the next year – and rumors also have it that once the network is done, and everyone has the plastic cards, they may also add in NFC phones also ~ so we can use our phones for Cred/DebitCards and also transport tickets ~ woo~

  • http://manlyelectronics.com.au/ Manly Electronics

    Google introduced itself as a thieve in Australia!

    According to my bank statement Google Wallet is already in Australia.

    Today Google took money from my Visa without receipt or any kind of notification. I have no idea what service Google charged me for, if any. I have no Google advertisements. Google Wallet is not available in Australia yet.

    The transaction says only: GOOGLECC@GOOGLE.COM SINGAPORE SG $45.15

    Google caught few times charging for fake advertisements. I am not surprised it innovated itself to new heights. Now Google charge for nothing at all. Just grabbed money without asking. I am not sure how it seems in other countries but this is theft in Australia.

    • mandyyyyyyy

      call your bank, that sounds dodgy and probably not google at all. seriously, call your bank

      • http://manlyelectronics.com.au/ Manly Electronics

        I checked – Google Wallet does work in AU and it issuing receipts.
        About the transaction in question: After clearing up it shown as
        Google*Adws[acc number] Singapore Sg. Obviously it is for AdWords. But I had no clue because Google charged 1 month later, without invoicing, and for something I was not aware of:

        The only reason I created this AdWords account is to collect $150
        promotion and see how it works. I thought I’ll bet Google credit and if got any business then go ahead and spent real money. But no, Google charged me AFTER trial campaign stopped with positive balance! And there is an explanation in the Google AdWords account AFTER they took money:

        ===Automatic payments (when your balance
        reaches $100.00 or 30 days after your last automatic payment,
        whichever comes first).===

        So Google charged me a month later (!) after campaign stopped the $45.15 to ‘top up’ the balance for a $100. No warnings, not invoices. Of course, Google sent promotional e-mails such as ‘you might be missing out on potential customers: tips …’ but NEVER invoice or ongoing payment notification as all legitimate business do.

        Further, I cannot see the next date when Google will charge me automatically, in case I continue AdWords campaign.

        Resume is – if you want try AdWords by using a $150 Google promotion – spend only up to $50.

      • bob

        Someone didn’t read the terms and conditions☺

      • http://manlyelectronics.com.au/ Manly Electronics

        Yes. Say it after you check the balance of your account.

  • Bill Rodgers

    I hope it finally gets to Australia and we can use it. With regards to the lack of a secure a secure element – Android 4.4 doesn’t need it for Google Wallet. Westpac supposedly have an app coming out but last I heard ir requires a secure element. Commbank have that sticker but I’d prefer an app.

  • simon

    Hurry UP!