In the world of mobile payments – that is, using your smartphone to pay for things – Google Wallet is the king of the hill. If you’re not familiar with the service, it’s likely because most U.S. carriers don’t want you using it on their phones. They’ll tell you it’s because of a perceived security issue, but it’s really about competition. You see, AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon all have a joint venture together called ISIS, which supposedly should do the same thing as Google Wallet. Even though it was announced in 2010, we have yet to see anything come from the venture.
So, if you have any number of Android phones with NFC capabilities, your phone is technically ABLE to use Google Wallet to help you pay at over 300,000 locations that support it already with PayPass card readers. But, if you go to the Google Play Store and try to download the app to your phone, you’ll likely get an error message telling you it’s not supported by your carrier.
However, all hope is not lost.
Thanks to the brilliant collective of Android enthusiasts over at XDA-Developers, there’s a workaround. And there has been for several phones for a while now. In fact, my friend Dustin and I were among the first to get Google Wallet working on the Verizon version of the Galaxy Nexus (video), as well as the Galaxy S3 (video).
Just earlier this week, I finally got it going on my Verizon Galaxy S4. It took about two hours from start to finish, including rooting my phone, installing a custom recovery, and applying the patch for Google Wallet to work on the phone.
If this is a project you want to tackle, hit the link below for the full set of instructions. As always, do this at your own risk. If you have questions, ping me on Twitter and I’ll do my best to help: @mbchp.
XDA-Developers: How To Install Google Wallet for VZW Galaxy S4
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