Still denying Google Wallet, Verizon grants secure element access to ISIS — does it surprise you?

In case you haven’t heard the news, Verizon’s ISIS application is officially confirmed to have access to the secure element found in the carrier’s NFC-enabled phones. This is a big deal because much has been made about Verizon’s willingness to block Google Wallet access.

When a complaint was filed to the FCC regarding the issue Verizon responded saying Google Wallet would be just as fine as any application if it didn’t need the secure element. The problem is that Google would have to strip NFC payment functionality out of the app in order for it to meet Verizon’s requirements, and that pretty much defeats the purpose of Google Wallet in the first place.

Big Red said ISIS had to pass a certification process in order to be granted the special privileges it has, but we were never told whether or not Google had just as much of a chance of being granted certification. In fact, we’re not even sure if it’s possible for Google to begin any sort of certification process. That’s something that Verizon is being tight-lipped on for now, but should we find out that ISIS is being given special treatment are any of us really surprised?

Before Google Wallet was officially unveiled, it was revealed that three of America’s biggest carriers — AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon — were teaming up to help build the ISIS wagon. Sprint was the only carrier not willing to join that particular rodeo, and they ended up embracing Google’s mobile payments service no problem. It’s interesting to note that AT&T nor T-Mobile have been against Google Wallet access on their devices, so it’s unlikely that a conflict of interest or some contractual obligation is keeping Verizon from opening its arms.

Some would suggest Verizon’s motives aren’t about security as much as they’re about money. It’s a tough accusation to swing, but some are saying Verizon is using the secure element excuse to mask the fact that it doesn’t want Google Wallet without getting a cut of the revenue from it. This is something we’d only be able to confirm if we were sitting in on those top-secret board meetings ourselves so we can’t say for sure either way, but the fact of the matter is that Verizon’s hand is not being forced by ISIS in the matter.

For consumers’ sake we hope recent FCC complaints will shake the tree a little bit in getting to the bottom of this story, but Verizon’s stance hasn’t changed since they responded to that initial letter, and that’s all we have until further notice. Would you believe Verizon’s blocking access to the secure element for genuine security reasons or do you think there is something more to this cloudy story? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

Welcome to Isis!  This email confirms that you’ve started the process of activating your new Isis Wallet.

Please visit www.paywithisis.com at your convenience to log into your Isis Account and set up your Security Question and Answer.  This is important if you ever lose your phone or forget your Isis Password.  (You can also complete this from the Settings option in the Wallet Menu on your phone.)

You can find helpful information at www.paywithisis.com about using your new Isis Wallet.  You can also  explore the Help option in the Wallet Menu, which includes access to the “Learn More” video series.

You can review and print the Isis Services Terms of Service and Privacy Policy via www.paywithisis.com.  These can also be viewed on your phone via the Help option in your Isis Wallet.

Isis will now configure the Secure Element on your phone, setting up your Wallet PIN and delivering any Payment Cards for which you’ve signed up.  When your new Isis Wallet is ready for use, Isis will alert you with a text message containing an embedded link.  Please follow the instructions in the message to use the link to re-launch the Isis Wallet on your phone.  (You should expect this text message within the next 60 minutes.  Please ensure that your phone remains powered on with a network connection available.)

We hope you enjoy your new Isis Wallet.

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  • http://jordanhotmann.com/ Jordan Hotmann

    It’s all about the $$$

  • Gus70

    Verizon, time to insert foot in mouth.

  • John Wentworth

    Not surprised, but I’m not a fan of any of these nfc payments systems at the moment, I tried Google wallet on my Galaxy Nexus a couple months ago and no matter what I did it wouldn’t work. It wound up triggering some sort of fraud alert to google and they blocked my account for awhile, couldn’t buy normal apps or anything. Too much of a hassle until all of the kinks are worked out.

    • Havoc70

      Not sure why you had those issues i have been using G Wallet for awhile on my Gnex and its works perfectly. Finding stores who actually accept it is a little harder

    • RavenFox

      Don’t what kinks you’re talking about but the apps wonderfully for me.

  • Scott Tompkins

    Obviously about the money… the secure-element certification BS is just a blatant attempt to snowball the notoriously non tech-savvy legislators.

  • addicuss

    I hope they get hit with a massive fine.

    • Go Hawkeyes

      Why, so they can just pass it on to their customers? I’d rather they not be fined, just told to start allowing Google Wallet instead.

      • addicuss

        They can’t simply pass the fine down and make us pay for it. They can offset it in a rate hike. But they can’t really hike rates up and remain competitive against other carriers. So really any correlating raise in increase would be nonexistant to unnoticeable at worst. so a massive fine would be a PR blackeye, and a notice to verizon that they can’t pull these types of shenanigans with other software. Yes I rather just be able to use google wallet but that’s probably not happening without punitive action.

        • Go Hawkeyes

          They would just introduce a new “regulatory recovery” below the line fee to cover it.

  • markgbe

    and this is why i left verizon for t-mobile.

    • Dean Politis

      Me too and I am saving $20 – $30 a month with truly unlimited 4G

      • NIGHTSCOUT

        Truly Unlimited Untruly 4G

        • Dean Politis

          It’s faster for me than Verizon’s LTE

          • guitarist5122

            I just switch from T Mobile to Verizon and it was not faster than Verizon’s LTE. And the coverage was terrible. I travel too many different places so I would know.

        • Brian Menius

          It’s faster than Verizon’s 3G, and that’s good enough for me relative to the savings I’m seeing.

          Besides, I’d much rather have HSPA+ to fall back onto from LTE with TMobile (when LTE becomes available) than the 3G fallback with Verizon. LTE is overrated, anyway; I only wish I’d come to terms with that before paying Verizon so much for it over the last 18 months.

          • No_Nickname90

            Yea. That’s what I’m saying too. What’s better to fall back on. On Sprint, if you can’t get a 4G WiMax or LTE signal, then you pretty much have no signal.

            Tmo’s 2G is decent speeds. It averages at .5Mbps. I can stlil load webrowsers with that. And that’s 2G speeds. 3G is in a nice widespread area, so you’d get an average of 2Mbps always.

            I hope Sprint fixes their network up with this Clearwire buyout.

          • Jeff Rodriguez

            True that some places T-Mobile doesn’t have great coverage… like update NY outside of metro areas, but where I live in VA I get 10-20Mbps down and 2-3.5Mbps up pretty much in the entire 100 mile area I drive. When I lived out west I never got less than 5Mbps and that was 4 years ago. LTE is overrated for the price, and has less coverage. Verizon is an absolute rip off unless you are a traveler that visits a lot of small town areas. $62 a month for me for unlimited everything and no data caps. I’d be paying well over $100 for Verizon, and I wouldn’t have any way of getting unlimited.

  • http://twitter.com/slayerpsp S.Rambo

    Best coverage crappiest money hungry boot loader locking SOB Hate Verizon

  • addicuss

    Also I hope everyone here has filed a similar complaint with the FCC. The more people complain the more seriously the FCC will take the issue. If you have time to post here you have time to fill out the form.

  • Lennatron
    • MK2

      That’s funny, the page is flooded with complaints about VZW :)

      • bklyn nets

        I finally left VZW. Got a G-Nex on eBay. Tmobile baby!! Yea, HSPA+ is not as fast as LTE. But, it’s fast enough for YouTube, Slingbox and WatchESPN. Just do it!

    • Scott Tompkins

      Haha, lol even more at the handful of 5-star reviews that read like tutorials… obviously planted ;)

      • Fred Marshall

        Look at the ONE that’s not “A google user”. Taylor Nielsen. Click on his name. It goes to his google+ profile…who does he work for?

        Fucking heartless VZW…losing more and more respect for them by the minute.

    • RavenFox

      Just read them lol. talk about backfire

    • guitarist5122

      Well they have one more 1 star rating a piece of my mind.

    • C-Law

      i downloaded the app just so i could leave a 1 star review

    • antinorm

      Today, I checked the Google Play reviews for an application I recently helped release. This application competes with an existing Google application, and some of my users have accused me of blocking the Google product in favor of my own. My application is being hit hard by one-star reviews now. FML

  • effApple

    Verizon is just aching for the FCC to bend them over

  • Havoc70

    Verizon is full of $hit, they aren’t about customer service or security, its all about greed

  • Alexander Ramirez

    Suck it, Verizon. I’ve been using Google Wallet regularly since I got my nexus and it’s not about to change.

  • Chimphappyhour

    Oddly, on my Note 2 on Tmo, I can’t use Wallet even though it loads. (I also can’t seem to use GVoice as my voicemail instead of Tmo’s voice mail.)

    • Dean Politis

      You should be able to use Google Voice. I use it on T-Mobile. If you are using the monthly pay as you go plans, Google has instructions to manually have T-Mobile work with Google Voice

      • Chimphappyhour

        It worked great as my voice mail when I had my Nexus phones but for some odd reason, I can’t get it to work with my Note 2 no matter what I do. It’s driving me nuts. Hate that backwards step.

        • No_Nickname90

          It worked on my HTC G2. Maybe there’s something in the settings of the app. Or maybe check the actual Google Voice website. Maybe there’s a setting that you need to allow for your voice mails.

          Just throwing out ideas.

  • AnRek

    NO, that does not surprise me, what DO surprise me, is that americans are willing to use crappy companies like that, branded phones that get new ROM / features half a year later than I got them , in the tiny Norway !

    • Dan

      When you can reliably pull 45MB/s down and 15MB/s up on a different carrier, even out in the sticks (65 miles from the closest city bigger than 10,000 people) then you can tell us about how surprised you are that some of us will still do business with them.

    • guitarist5122

      What other options do we have, maybe we should move to Norway

  • Alu Zeros

    Verizon, is a greedy company, that is full of @#$@#$@! Good for Google to not offer the nexus on Verizon, that’s a big middle finger they can sit on. If I was Google, why did they block ad hoc tethering. I can understand security, but if they want to really piss off the carriers, they should allow ad hoc tethering.

    • Alu Zeros

      I suggest that people just file more fcc complaints against verizon because of this

  • NIGHTSCOUT
  • MK2

    Straight up anti trust violation.

  • andrew__des_moines

    I left Verizon for AT&T and have never regretted doing so. When I recently bought and set up Galaxy SIII’s for my parents, who are still on Verizon, I was amazed at how petty Big Red still is. Invasive bloatware, the most egregious being the expensive VZ Navigator that cannot even be disabled, awful voicemail unless paying for premium service (i.e. more than 20 messages), etc. The inability to disable VZ Navigator is especially bad for tehnophobes like my parents who could easily accidentally chose it as a navigation app over Google. Verizon charges more than any other carrier and they have economies of scale working in their favor with the biggest customer base — there is no reason they should be nickle and diming customers — and there is no reason they should still have so many customers.

    • Drew M

      My folks are still on Verizon too. They’ve had problems with customer service, but they’re kind of stuck because they have the Fios bundle. I don’t think Verizon is worth the headaches, and coverage in the northeast is pretty even across carriers anyway.

    • bklyn nets

      Don’t think AT&T is any better than VZW. I left for Tmobile, and very happy. G-Nex.

  • ntegrit

    Verizon is involved, and money isn’t? Haha, what a kidder!

    On another note, the reviews for this app (a few other comments have the link) are about 87% negative, and mostly one-star! Interestingly, they’re mostly not even about the app, but indictments of Verizon.

  • nycplayboy78

    Typical VZ BullSugar….If I was El Goog I would march my happy butt down to the FCC, FTC, and DOJ and lodge a FORMAL complaint…….

  • RavenFox

    I don’t even use these bastards for analog service.

  • No_Nickname90

    History repeats itself, just in a different fashion. Verizon is the new Southwestern Bell. You know, the 1st phone company that used to be the only phone company. You can imagine how that went.

    “Hey your service sucks!!”
    “OK. Well you can cancel it and go to the alternative all you want.” *Troll Face*

  • RahjerDat

    I remember G Wallet. That’s that service that used to work on my Sprint S3. Not at all on my Note 2.

  • Fred Marshall

    Anyone know where to go to lodge a complain with the FCC?

  • Bill D

    I’m stuck with red cause coverage in rural NH sucks with anyone else. Simple solution: root, install custom recovery, install custom ROM, install Titanium Backup. Kick red off your phone. Use any app you want.

  • http://twitter.com/joey89924 joey

    I can stlil load webrowsers with that.
    LM1117

  • WickedToby741

    I would take ISIS, but apparently they feel the need to block the GNex from that as well. I just want to use NFC for payments. I would prefer that to be Google but I’m not apposed to using ISIS. Instead us GNex users get screwed out of both.

  • guy

    Well apparently isis is blocked on my s3 as well due to security, and I’m not sure why? So what’s vzw excuse for that?

  • remister

    Verizon putting the NEXUS line to shame….

  • Frankie Abaddon

    Of course its bullshit. Google needing to meet some crazy cert to access something they built. But you know Google did open source so let VZW get a free ride off their customers.

  • kaozhi