Google launches Android Pay

By on May 29, 2015 in Mobility Strategy | 0 comments

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Google launches Android Pay

Swipe, dip or tap? That will become a question for millions more people this summer as Google’s new digital wallet system, Android Pay, becomes active.


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Juan Benitez, chief technology officer at Braintree, and Bloomberg’s Cory Johnson discuss Google’s upgrades to Android announced today at Google I/O.
Bloomberg

SAN FRANCISCO — Swipe, dip or tap?

That will become a question for millions more people this summer as Google’s new digital wallet system, Android Pay, becomes active.

Google announced Android Pay at the Google I/O developers conference in San Francisco on Thursday.

Much like Apple Pay, which launched in 2014, Android Pay will allow people with phones running the Android operating system to upload credit, debit and pre-paid card information into a digital wallet.

They then tap their phone on an Android Pay-enabled terminal at a store or restaurant and the payment is automatically made.

Swiping, as for a credit card or dipping, for chip-and-PIN cards. isn’t required.

The system makes use of near field communication, which uses electromagnetic radio fields to communicate between the phone and the payment terminal.

Android Pay is backwards compatible to the KitKat version of Android, released in 2013.

It will also work within apps. Users will have the option of selecting a “Buy with Android Pay” and the payment will go through.

Google had a very similar service, called Google Wallet, which launched in 2011 but never really caught on.

Like other such payment systems, credit and debit card information isn’t sent along with the payment. Instead, a one-time virtual account number is used, adding a layer of security.

A selling points for Android Pay is that it will automatically allow merchants to credit a user’s loyalty program when they tap. It’s been reported that Apple Pay will add this functionality in June.

Google predicts that Android Pay will be accepted at more than 700,000 store locations and more than 1,000 apps “soon.”

MasterCard believes that as the public gets used to these “contactless payments” they’ll become more popular.

“After people tap two or three times, they don’t go back to their old behavior because it’s faster and more convenient,” said Ed McLaughlin, MasterCard’s chief emerging payments officer.

Analyst Sucharita Mulpuru isn’t convinced.

“They’re a solution looking for a problem,” the Forrester Research analyst said. “Whenever we do surveys, consumers say theoretically they like the idea of a digital wallet, but in reality even iPhone 6 users, arguably fast adopters of technology, haven’t adopted it.”

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  • Google unveils Android's latest technological tr
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  • Virtual reality is coming to YouTube
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  • How will customers benefit from Android pay?
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