Google Wallet dropping NFC loyalty points and gift cards

Google is fundamentally changing how an aspect of Wallet works. Again. On August 21st, Mountain View is turning NFC functionality off for Wallet-stored gift and loyalty cards and recommends spending any gift card balances before the deadline later this month (i.e., within 12 days from now). However, if you still have the physical cards, you're in the clear and can use them without worry. The search giant stressed that it's working with retailers on other options for gift and loyalty card redemption, and that this latest change would not affect other aspects of the Wallet service, including its ability to handle debit or credit card transactions.

Loyalty program linking is something Google has been showing off since Wallet was first detailed, so it's curious to see the service suddenly being limited like this. When we asked for clarification, a company spokesperson replied that there wasn't much more they could share. Page and Co. said its working on a solution though, and will have details to talk about "soon."

[Thanks Anthony and Dan]