Google Wallet payments are getting annoying, but Android 15 might fix it

Google Wallet logo on smartphone next to credit cards and cash stock photo 7

Edgar Cervantes/Android Authority

long story short

  • Google Wallet now requires your phone to be unlocked for every contactless payment, regardless of amount.
  • Android 15 may bring back secure one-click transactions with new features for secure preemptive authentication.

Google Wallet users, especially in Europe, have reported changes in how contactless payments are authorized. Unlike before, users now need to use their fingerprint or PIN to unlock their phone every time they click to pay, regardless of the transaction amount.

9 to 5 google First reported that many European users took to Reddit to express their dissatisfaction with the new payment process. In some European countries, contactless payments have traditionally had consumption thresholds, and transactions below a set amount do not require unlocking the phone. While this change prioritizes security, it understandably disrupts the previously smoother user experience where unlocking was not required for small purchases.

The situation in the United States is different. Here, all transactions except transportation payments typically require unlocking the phone. However, unlike the iPhone, which requires authentication for every payment, a recent unlock on Android is sometimes enough to complete subsequent Google Wallet transactions within a short period of time.

A recent update to Google Wallet support materials hints at future changes, stating that “credit and debit cards will not be charged for retail payments unless you have recently used a verification method.” While some users may have already experienced this, This suggests a possible move to mandatory authentication for all payments in the near future.

However, there is a glimmer of hope for those who aren’t ready to give up on a seamless contactless payment experience. Android 15 may restore the convenience of seamless contactless payments while maintaining security standards.

The recently released Android 15 Developer Preview 2 includes features to simplify NFC interactions. According to Google, the newly launched API will allow Android devices to listen for NFC readers without responding immediately. This paves the way for preemptive authentication, potentially enabling secure one-click transactions without authentication in some cases.

While Android 15 Developer Preview 2 is available for download for enthusiasts willing to face potential instability, it’s best to wait for the more stable Android 15 Beta, which is expected to be released next month.

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