Google is sidestepping the telcos that seek to dominate the mobile wallet. It's building a workaround into its latest Android operating system that could be used to allow Google Wallet to bypass mobile-carrier-controlled secure elements.
The search engine giant's release of "KitKat" includes a Host Card Emulation add-on that allows any device running the Google software to initiate near-field communication transactions.
"With HCE, any app on an Android device can emulate an NFC smart card, letting users tap to initiate transactions with an app of their choice no provisioned secure element (SE) in the device is needed," Google said in a blog post.
In the past, most carriers have flat out refused to allow Google Wallet onto devices on their respective networks. This feature beats that resistance.