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Google Wallet on Wear OS may make tap-to-pay less convenient with PIN requirement

It's unclear if this is a slow roll out, test, or bug.

Published onApril 22, 2024

Google Wallet logo on smartphone next to credit cards and cash Stock photo 12
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
  • Some users are reporting that Google Wallet on Wear OS is demanding PIN code entry before allowing tap-to-pay.
  • It’s possible this feature could be a test, a bug, or in the process of still rolling out.

If you use Google Wallet on Wear OS for tap-to-pay transactions, using the feature could soon become more tedious. The service may start requiring you to enter a PIN code before allowing you to use the quick payment method.

Normally, when using the Google Wallet tap-to-pay function on your smartwatch, you can just tap and go. Unless the device senses that it has separated far enough from your body, then it will ask for PIN. However, some users are reporting that a PIN code prompt is now popping up every time they try to use tap-to-pay, according to 9to5Google.

Seeing as it appears only a handful of users are experiencing this new request, there are a few possibilities that could be going on here. It’s possible that Google is testing this function on some user’s smartwatches. We could also be seeing a bug with the app. Or the function is in the process of slowly rolling out.

On Google’s updated support page, it mentions verifying that it’s you to make purchases by inputting a PIN, pattern, password, or class 3 biometric unlock. While it doesn’t explicitly state a specific device, it is presumably talking phones. So it would appear Google has yet to announce such a requirement for Wear OS.

If this is a new function coming to smartwatches, the aim is obviously to make payments even more secure. However, such a feature would definitely make tap-to-pay on Wear OS far less seamless than it was before.

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