Google's Android Wear products came to market well ahead of the Apple Watch, but in one category they have always been a step behind: contactless payments.
That may soon change, according to an Android Police report stating that Google will include NFC support for wearables, including smartwatches, in its latest update to Google Play v10.0. The clues to this move are buried in Android's code, the report states.
Text in the code strings refers to shorthand Android developers use for the platform’s Tap and Pay interface, with a couple of explicit mentions of how to use Android Pay near an NFC-enabled terminal, and the words “your watch,” the site reported on Nov. 20.
It’s not the first time talk has swirled about Google Play adding NFC support for Android Wear—two years ago sporadic activity with payments providers and promises of contactless-enabled Android Wear items in development raised hopes that broader development was around the corner. But while developers waited for news, a standard NFC solution for Android Wear never materialized.
Android phone users have adopted Android Pay through smartphones, but the dearth of NFC-enabled wearables has become more of a concern as the mobile payment service builds scale in markets around the world, observers have noted.