Google announced that it is now beginning to roll out Android Pay, its answer to Apple Pay as unveiled at Google I/O in May. The product lets Android users pay securely with their phones at millions of physical locations throughout the U.S. as well as in apps.
Android Pay also stores gift cards, loyalty cards, and other offers from various restaurants and stores. Partners include best Buy, Coca-Cola, GameStop, Jamba Juice, McDonald’s, Macy’s, Pepsi, Office Depot, Staples, Walgreens, Toys R Us, Whole Foods, Domino’s, Dunkin Donuts, Lyft, Groupon, LivingSocial, Etsy, Priceline, Uber, and Chipotle to name a few.
"Android Pay works with all NFC-enabled Android devices (running KitKat 4.4+), on any mobile carrier, at every tap and pay ready location across the US," explains Pali Bhat, Director of Product Management for Android Pay. "Android Pay will support credit and debit cards from the four major payment networks: American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa. These cards are issued by many of the most popular US banks and credit unions, including American Express, Bank of America, Discover, Navy Federal Credit Union, PNC, Regions Bank, USAA, and U.S. Bank. Citi and Wells Fargo will be available in the next few days, Capital One is coming soon, and we’re adding new banks all the time."
Here's the presentation from Google I/O:
"We know how important it is to keep your personal and financial information secure, so Android Pay is supported by industry standard tokenization," says Bhat. "This means your real credit or debit card number isn't sent with your payment. Instead, we’ll use a virtual account number that provides an extra layer of security. As soon as you make a purchase, you’ll see a payment confirmation that shows where a given transaction happened, so it’s easy to catch any suspicious activity. And if your phone is ever lost or stolen, simply use Android Device Manager to instantly lock your device from anywhere, secure it with a new password, or even wipe it clean of your personal information."
Android Pay is rolling out gradually over the coming days, and Google says it will be adding more features, banks, and store locations in the coming months. In fact, the mobile checkout functionality in apps, which has been touted since Android Pay's initial unveiling won't be available until later this year. Stay tuned.
Ahead of the announcement, Google launched a new Google Wallet app, which will remain a separate service from Android Pay. More on that here.
Images via Google