Android KitKat may make it easier to ditch your wallet

BY GreenBot Staff

Published 12 Nov 2013

th Android 4.4 KitKat, your phone might finally gain access to llet. though launched the mobile payment service two years ago, carrier hardware restrictions kept it from truly taking off. Thanks to some clever workarounds on ’s part, Android KitKat might be the kick in the pants llet needs to go mainstream.

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llet is one of the first apps to take advantage of HCE Tap & y.

By incorporating a system known as Host Card Emulation (HCE), KitKat lets apps mimic NFC-enabled credit cards, loyalty cards, even transit passes. th one of these apps installed, you can use your phone with compatible NFC readers just like you would a physical plastic card. Finding a working NFC card reader might prove to be a challenge, but there’s just something utterly futuristic about paying with your phone.

If you have an app that supports it, KitKat includes a Tap & y option that streamlines the payment process. thout having the app open, you can tap your phone against an NFC reader to initiate a transaction. You can have multiple apps enabled to take advantage of Tap & y, but things could get messy if you have 5 different payment apps all attempting to use different cards to pay for your groceries. In theory, KitKat is smart enough to recognize the type of reader you’re trying to access will serve up the appropriate card for the situation.

llet is one of the first Android apps to use HCE, allowing it to work on pretty much any smartphone or tablet with NFC hardware. By being part of the core Android OS, it’ll be much harder for carriers or device manufacturers to block the functionality—although carriers could continue to block access to llet as a means to encourage people to use their own mobile payment software.