Google unveils Android Pay
Hot on the heels of its announcement of an imminent “Buy Button”, Google has unveiled details about Android Pay – its counterblast to Apple Pay. Google presented the new product at its I/O developers conference in San Francisco yesterday (28 May).
Android Pay allows users of mobile phones equipped with Google’s mobile operating system Android (and this is said to be about 80% of the market) to upload any credit or debit card to a “mobile wallet” on their phone, so they can pay for goods and services.
Essentially, Android Pay is a step-up from its existing Google Wallet. But it is a big step-up – and it has needed to be, because Google has a lot of catching up to do if it is to compete with Apple Pay, which has won support from many famous-name merchants.
Now, with Android Pay, Google is also boasting a roster of big-name participants, including McDonald’s, BestBuy, Etsy and Staples, as well as the ride-hailing (and parcel delivering) apps Uber and Lyft.
An announcement posted on the Android Official Blog yesterday said: “With Android Pay, you can simply unlock your phone like you normally do, place it near a merchant’s contactless terminal, and you’re good to go. Android Pay does all the heavy lifting. You don’t even need to open an app—just tap and go. You’ll also see a payment confirmation and get transaction details right on your phone.”
The blog added: “Android Pay will soon be accepted at over 700,000 store locations from your favorite brands across the US, and in over 1000 Android apps. And we’ll be adding more every day.”
The service will be available on future Android phones as well as from the Google Play app store – and the roll-out is starting in the US.