Google Copy of Apple Pay Begins Rollout
Google Announced on its blog today, that Android Pay will now be rolling out. Android Pay was announced earlier this summer, and works in the same way as Apple Pay. When you have Android Pay installed, you hold your device near a payment terminal and you will be presented with an option to pay with one of your stored cards. Payments are transmitted using NFC, and your credit card number will not actually be stored on your device. Banks will have to partner with Android Pay in order for you to use your existing debit or credit card with the payment system.
Like Apple Pay, Android Pay will be accepted at any retailer that accepts NFC payments. Android Pay will come installed on new carrier sold phones, and will be available as a download for NFC-enabled Android devices running Android Version 4.4 or higher. In addition to storing payment cards, Android Pay will also allow you to store loyalty cards and gift cards on your device. Later this year, Google promises that Android Pay will also allow in-app purchases.
If you currently have an Android Device running Android 4.4 or newer with Google Wallet installed, Apple Pay will be released as an update to Google Wallet. For new users, Android Pay will be available for download in the Google Play store in the next few days. You will be able to use Android Pay at any existing retailer that accepts Apple Pay. Currently only cards issued by Bank of America, Navy Federal Credit Union, PNC, Region Bank, USAA, and US Bank can be added to Android Pay, but Citi, Wells Fargo, Capital One and others will be coming soon. Just like Apple it appears that each individual bank must sign an agreement with Google to allow use of your card with Android Pay.
I am glad to see that Google is expanding its ability to use Android phones to allow a user to make purchases, I am just disappointed that it appears to be such a direct copy of what Apple already introduced. It will be interesting to watch how each of these products develop over the next year.