Kit Kat Inspires Visa/MasterCard To Empower Easier Mobile Payments

February 19, 2014 - Written By Justin Diaz

Mobile payments are something that have yet to really take off, but it’s an interesting feature to have and I really wish more establishments would hop on board with the idea. Having been a user of a Nexus device for my current and previous phone and using Google Wallet mobile payments for both of them, it’s a quick and easy way to pay at the register without having to really bring your physical wallet around with you. Less clutter in the pockets, and honestly it’s a faster. Sadly, mobile payments just have not had an easy go of it because of the lack of support. However, Android 4.4 Kit Kat has seemed to inspire Visa, and MasterCard to make the world of mobile payments easier, which would be an absolutely lovely thing to see. All of this is being made possible by the announcement from both Credit Card companies that they adding in support for a new mobile payment setup via NFC(near field communication). Customers will soon be able to once again use tap to pay features by simply tapping their mobile device up to readers, and hopefully checking out quicker than before. The best part is that the “Secure element” factor of the mobile payments won’t be needed with the way things are being handled.

Once this whole process is implemented, which Visa says is already available on their end, Google Wallet, among other apps that use “tap-to-pay” for mobile payments should be able to work or work better than before. MasterCard is said to be rolling out their side of the support before July, so we could see it just at the beginning of the summer from them. In effect, this new support for mobile payments, (called Host Card Emulation or HCE) will allow any apps that have previously been limited due to carrier controlled “secure element” access, to function properly and get around those restrictions that have been put in place. The restrictions and limitations were no doubt put in place to begin with in part because of the carrier adoption of Isis Mobile Wallet, but thanks to the advancements of Android’s latest OS version and the hard work of dev teams at Visa and MasterCard, the users that do want to take advantage of this won’t have to forfeit usage because their favorite “wallet” app isn’t usable at pay stations.