Android Pay, Google’s second shot at making a mobile payment system, had officially launched a couple of weeks ago. But now, this contactless mode of payment has now been made available in the Google Play Store. This means that users of mobile devices that run on the Android mobile operating system can now easily find Android Pay.
For those not yet familiar with Android Pay, it should not be confused with Google Wallet, which was Google’s first attempt at creating a mobile payment app. Google Wallet never quite took off with the masses, but Google is certainly hoping that Android Pay will. The new mobile payment system from the tech giant is based on near field communications (NFC) technology, which lets users facilitate payments for digital goods as well as purchases made at participating retail stores across the United States.
Android Pay basically works with all Android powered mobile devices that are enabled with NFC tech. Also, these devices must run on a version of Android that is at least Android KitKat 4.4 or newer. Google’s mobile payment system is already supported by the big four payment networks in the US, namely American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa. Major banks such as Navy Federal Credit Union, PNC, Regions Bank, USAA, US Bank, and Wells Fargo have also likewise supported Android Pay.
As for those users who already have Google Wallet, Google has made it possible for them to transition to the newer Android Pay. Indeed, they can accomplish that by way of a Wallet app update. However, because it was done via the Wallet app, some users got confused, and ended up thinking Android Pay and Google Wallet were one and the same.
For new users, they can now download Android Pay directly from the Google Play store. Once installed in their mobile devices, they can now pay for purchases by just unlocking their Android smartphone, and placing it near an NFC enabled payment terminal in order to authorize payment for goods bought.
Google first unveiled Android Pay back in May earlier this year during the company’s I/O conference held in the city of San Francisco, California. During Google’s introduction of its mobile payment system, rival Apple had already launched its own contactless mode of payment called Apple Pay. Apple’s system went on to become one of the most popular mobile payment systems today and is credited by many to have spurred other players to also introduce their own systems (Samsung with Samsung Pay, among many others). As for Google’s Android Pay, its timing may just be right. With increased appreciation of mobile payment systems (payments made through smartphones are expected to rise to $118 billion within three years, per eMarketer), Google’s Android Pay can definitely take advantage of it.
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