For those of you who do not know what HCE is, it is what makes tap and pay work for apps such as Google Wallet when device is running Kitkat. Kitkat does not use secure element. Android 4.3 used secure element and that is why Google Wallet worked when running on Android Jellybean 4.3. I am quoting information below from another article i read.
"Tap and pay functionality is available in the US, and requires one of the following NFC-enabled Android devices with a Secure Element chip running 2.3 (Gingerbread) or higher on select carrier networks, or an NFC-enabled Android device running 4.4 (KitKat) or higher:
I read that as an either/or statement.. the second doesn't seem conditional to the first
EDIT: What they didn't tell us, according to Entropy512:
HCE support is missing from the AOSP stack for NXP NFC controllers. It only works on Broadcom (NCI) controllers. (Unless it was pushed as part of the android-4.4-r1.2 tag...)
So if you have a device with an NXP NFC controller - still no Wallet for you. If your device has the HCE permissions XML (this will only happen if someone made a mistake), Google Wallet will indicate that it's 100% ready for payment, but won't react at all to a payment terminal.
(Another option is if an OEM implements HCE for NXP chips even though it is missing from AOSP.)"
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