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Can't get Google Wallet to Work? Have an Expanded Battery Pack? That may be Your Problem

I've been beating my head around why every place I've gone to so far with Paypass (Home Depot, McDonalds, Best Buy, 7-Eleven, you name it)  hasn't worked with my new Galaxy Nexus phone that's supposed to work with NFC and Google Wallet. I searched all the forums and just couldn't figure out what was happening. The guys at 7-Eleven said it worked with every other phone they tried it with.

Then I remembered - I had an extended battery pack that I bought off Amazon that was on the phone to extend the battery life. It made the back of the phone a lot bigger, I'm guessing preventing the NFC signal from getting through. I actually found a unique way of testing it: The Nexus Q actually supports NFC. If you hold your phone up to the Nexus Q your phone will open up to the Nexus Q app in the Play Store. So I ran an experiment.

Just as with 7-Eleven and all the other Paypass stores, the Nexus Q didn't register when I'd hold up my phone to the Nexus Q. When I removed the extended battery pack, sure enough, the phone would buzz, beep, and then open up to the Nexus Q app. That was indeed my problem!

So if you're experiencing this same issue, try putting back in the original battery. I'm betting this fixes a few issues, and it's odd that I'm not seeing this warning anywhere in the Galaxy Nexus forums or docs. I'm surely not the only one with a battery pack! And how does it work with thicker cases?

If this helped you, let me know in the comments!

Read more about this on http://www.staynalive.com/2012/08/cant-get-google-wallet-to-work-have.html


UPDATE: I'm being told in the comments that the NFC is actually in the battery on the Galaxy Nexus, so that would explain why this happens. I wonder if there are expanded battery packs that have NFC in them so this doesn't happen. If you know any let me know in the comments!
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Tevya Washburn's profile photoDaniel Petersen's profile photoPeter Malaczynski's profile photoColin Bruce Milne's profile photo
16 comments
 
my galaxy nexus has NFC on the battery so I've assumed the NFC aerial is held within the battery itself 
 
Your NFC chip is in the battery.  If you change the battery it won't work without calling the support number.  I just hope you don't have Verizon because than it just won't work.
 
Dick is right, when you removed your battery, you removed your attenna.
 
That's good to know re: NFC and the battery. I wonder if they sell battery packs that have NFC in it. Odd it's not in the phone itself.
 
it does make sense to be in the battery as if it was behind it it could be blocked, just the 3rd party battery people didn't seem to know this
 
+Brendan Davis it works when I switch batteries. I don't think I have to call customer support.

+Dick Thomas it would seem they could put the NFC chip above or around the battery somewhere, but I digress.
 
Does this include Google wallet? Will it also work at Paypass?
 
+Jesse Stay It still won't work - the NFC chip on the battery has to match the secure element in your phone where credit card numbers are stored.  That may change now that Google is keeping credit card numbers in the cloud (but for now it still works through a pre-paid master card stored on your phone).  I had to send my GNex in to Samsung for repairs and it came back with a new battery.  Now, no more Google Wallet for me because the two no longer match (this is according to Google tech support).
 
Surely there's some way to pair the new batt/nfc with your phone, otherwise batteries like the one Jesse linked to wouldn't be advertising NFC... Because it wouldn't work.
 
+Aaron Berlin but they advertise Google Wallet as well. The one Jesse linked to as well as several others on Amazon.
 
+Aaron Berlin yeah, I know. Not trying to criticize or anything. I'm just saying somebody is wrong: either Google or the batt manufacturers. Seems like it would really hurt your rep if you claimed it worked with Wallet, when it didn't. I'm just hoping it's possible, because it stinks if the trade off is longer battery life or Wallet. No compromise! :)
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