No official way to use a VISA credit card app without Google Services

Hi all,

not sure if i can write in English here inside, in case apologies :wink:

I just want to write about the sad story of an app which is available only to the Austrian market and therefore I think here is the best place to do it.

I’m talking about the Card Complete Control app, which is the official Visa/Mastercard app to monitor own credit card transactions in Austria.

This app is only distributed through the play store and therefore it’s not (officially) possible to install it on the Fairphone Open OS. I contacted Card Complete and they said there’s no way around that, Play Store or forget the app. I then asked a friend to get the app for me from the play store and to send me the apk. The app installs and works mostly fine, I just get a pop-up at start telling that it will not work without play services.

Funny thing, credit card transactions are available through the web too, but can only be activated by the mobile app. So, no app, no web based transactions, you cannot use, in no way, an extremely important security tool (to know right away if and when your cc is charged) just because you chose a more protected version of the OS. On top of that, why should Google have anything to do with my credit card transactions ?

A bright example of bad development, not-caring customer service and of ways to chain users to your own ecosystem.

1 Like

If you use the Xposed framework, there is this handy module: This App Will Run Without Google Play Services. It should help you get rid of the annoying message at startup. :wink:

PS: I moved your post to a new topic as it didn’t fit into the other one, IMO.


Thanks Stefan, for both the suggestion and placing the topic in the right place.

1 Like

I experienced similar sad, Austrian stories. One is dealing with the app Handy Parken. It allows you to pay parking fees through a pretty convenient app. You can download it from play store.

After switching to FP Open last autumn, I contacted the developer, asking if they provided a direct download of their app. They said: no play-store, no app.

Now I’m (1) back to sending SMS to pay for the parking fees, instead of using the app, and (2) motivated to make myself familiar with app development and create my own, open source app, assisting at least in assembling these SMS messages.


Yeah, same story for the Wiener Lienen app Qando. Developers should start to be aware of non-google users, they are constantly raising and the demonstration are very popular and mainstream apps not needing play services, like Whatsapp, Telegram, etc.

But there are good stories too, like citybike apps. They release public APIs for everyone to implement their own app and then advertise privately created apps on their site. Clever!

1 Like

All of these apps will work if you follow the #installanyapp guide. (Level 4 is usually sufficient).

Being forced do fake or mock gapps to use an app it’s not a satisfying solution for various reasons:

  • Most of those apps doens’t really need gapps, but still they “use” it because it’s very easy in Android Studio to import google dependencies and the likes. It shouldn’t be up the users to find solutions for the laziness of developers.
  • Whenever you fake or mock anything, you’re not guaranteed that the app will work how is it supposed to do. A native g-free app guarantees that it has been developed, tested and maintained without play services.
  • Many of those apps are of public utility and as such should be free.

I agree with all of your points, but if you want free (as in freedom) apps you can’t look in the Play Store and for sure can’t expect a multibillion dollar (or so) business like Visa/Mastercard to create such an app.

They simply don’t give a crap about the users’ freedoms and if given the option would surely decide to get cheaper rates from G%§$e for distributing their apps on the Play Store in exchange for collection data for G%§$e with unnecessary G-service-dependencies.

For public utility services that’s a bit different: 1) There are often free alternatives on FDroid (that work just as well if not better) and 2) You can urge the Wiener Stadtregierung to care about FLOSS and their citizens’ privacy.


This topic was automatically closed 183 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.