UGO Wallet is Bad and the People Who Made It Should Feel Bad

UGO - "Rooted Phone Detected"

For our tech-savvy UGO Wallet users, unfortunately we don’t support rooted phones…

Riiight, because a user with root access can do all sorts of nefarious things. It’s like, someone with admin access on their computer or something…!

Don’t believe they hype, dear reader; mobile payments remain a hot mess in Cana-duh, and UGO Wallet does nothing to change that.

UGO Wallet‘s raison-d’être isn’t a bad one—lighten your wallet by loading all your loyalty cards onto your phone. When it comes time to use them the app will generate a bar code that can be scanned at the register. Easy. And great for UGO, as they’re presumably collecting your spending habits and selling them to third parties.

Yesterday Bloomberg Business ran a feature on UGO, trumpeting their 50,000-strong user base under the looming shadow of Apple Pay. iPhone users seem quite taken with it; it’s currently boasting a 4.5-star average rating on the AppStore. Over on BlackBerry World there’s no shortage of praise in the reviews there.

On Android they’ve attempted to add mobile payment functionality, and have failed miserably.

The app only supports MasterCards from PC Financial and VISA cards issued by TD. That’s fair enough, as these two financial institutions are literally bankrolling the app. But instead of using the already-present NFC chips on most Android devices (sorry, OnePlus 2) the app requires an “NFC-enhanced” SIM from a supported carrier—so WIND and Mobilicity subscribers can stop reading now.

It gets worse… UGO will only work on the following phones:

  • HTC One, One M8 (no M9)
  • LG Optimus G2 (circa 2013)
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 2, Note 3, Note 4
  • Samsung Galaxy S3, S4, S5, S5 Active, S6, S6 edge
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
  • Sony Xperia T3
  • Sony Xperia Z1, Z2, Z3

And it’s not like the loyalty card stuff will still work on devices that don’t support mobile payments. Either everything works, or nothing does. That’s just dumb.

So for the time being Starbucks still holds the gold standard for mobile payments in this country. Cue appropriate music

Source: TD-Backed UGO Mobile Wallet Nabs 50,000 Users as Apple Pay Looms

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