Google’s mobile payment system, Android Pay, is now supported at more than 1 million locations in the United States. Google’s tap-to-pay system will compete with Apple Pay in the growing mobile payments market, which is expected to be worth $1 trillion by 2017.
Google, Apple, Samsung fight it out in digital payments
Technology companies want mobile payments to replace credit cards, and they are trying hard to convince shoppers to adopt this method of payment. All smartphones running on Google’s KitKat 4.4 OS and having near-filed communication (NFC) can use Android Pay. Users will also be able to store their credit card and loyalty card details and other data on their phones with its help.
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“Today, we’re beginning to roll out Android Pay — the simple and secure way to pay with your Android phone at over one million locations across the US.” Google said in a blog post on Thursday.
The payment systems from both Google and Apple generate a “token” rather than passing the credit/debit card details of users to retailers. This reduces the risk of data theft as the actual data is not revealed during a transaction. Samsung too launched its mobile payment service called Samsung Pay in South Korea last month. In the U.S., the service will be available starting Sept. 28, followed by the U.K., Spain and China. As of now, there is no information from Google on when it plans to make the service available outside the U.S.
Android Pay backed by major retailers
Android Pay enjoys the support of retailers like Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and Subway, and many more are expected to join in the near future. Later this year, the service will also be extended to mobile checkouts. Google’s payment service supports debit and credit cards from MasterCard, Visa and American Express. Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Bank of America, and other major banks will follow soon.
Android Pay can be accessed by existing users of the Google Wallet app after an update, while new users will be able to download it from the Google Play app store in a few days. As of now, Android Pay will be limited to tap-to-pay purchases at physical stores, according to Google.
“We’ll be rolling out gradually over the next few days, and this is just the beginning,” Google said.