Verizon recently issued a response to an FCC complaint regarding Google Wallet, explaining Google Wallet is only blocked because the mobile application requires access to the secure element.
Verizon illustrates payment apps such as those issued by Starbucks, Square, and PayPal are allowed on the device, and it would happily allow Google Wallet if the app did not involve the secure element. Although Isis, the mobile payments solution co-founded by Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T, will be allowed full access to devices’ secure elements, Verizon claims this is because Isis has gone through a “special approval process.”
Verizon states ”Google is free to offer its Google Wallet application in a manner that doesn’t require integration with the secure element, and many payment applications do just that.” Verizon apparently won’t grant an application access to the secure element until it goes through a “special process,” one that we’re not surprised to see go unexplained in the text sent to the FCC.
Few people have any doubt that Verizon’s resistance to Google Wallet is a method of supporting Isis. Verizon’s statement that it doesn’t want Google to access the secure element is believable. However, the reason is almost certainly not because Google accessing the secure element presents some form of risk. Isis functions by using the secure element, and allowing another mobile wallet to function in a similar fashion would promote competition, limiting Isis’s market.
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