During Google I/O the search giant took the opportunity to announce its latest attempt at developing a payment platform.
Android Pay will be coming to Android M, and will constitute a rival to Apple Pay. It will operate in a very similar way to Cupertino’s system, but will also offer fingerprint authentication. In order to purchase items via the platform, unlock an NFC enabled Android device and hold it in front of an NFC payment terminal.
Android Pay’s open platform encourages integration with existing apps
One bonus of the system is that your credit card number will not be revealed to any store, reducing the potential for fraud. Google announced that Android Pay will work with devices which still use the KitKat version of the operating system.
Android Pay looks set to be an open platform, allowing users to add and activate their card to the platform using Google’s in-built interface or by using their individual bank’s application.
Developers will also be able to integrate Android Pay functionality into their own apps. This is a particular advantage for apps such as Lyft, which will now be able to include an option to pay using Android Pay rather than entering credit card information into the app.
Partnerships increase chances of success
Google claims that you will be able to use Android Pay at more than 700,000 stores at the time of launch. Participating chains include Best Buy and McDonald’s, and the new platform will be compatible with all of the major credit card companies: Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover.
Android Pay will not completely replace Google Wallet, but will work alongside it. The distinction between the two is quite confusing, but Google is hoping that the convenience of the new platform will impress users. The company has tried and failed to implement a user-friendly payment platform before, but this time around it may have cracked the magic formula.
As well as partnerships with major financial institutions, Google got the three major U.S. carriers on board: AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile. The carriers will pre-install Android Pay on NFC-enabled devices running Android 4.4 “KitKat” or later, improving the platform’s chance of success.