A Year Later but Not Much Better: Google Finally Responds to Apple Pay With Android Pay & New Wallet

Android users will now be able to make contactless payments in the US. Google, in collaboration with the payment networks, finally rolled out Android Pay. What’s even more? Google redesigned its old Google Wallet app and converted it into an exclusive P2P payment app for sending and receiving money using an email address. Google’s new Wallet is similar to PayPal but there are some distinctive features like the user’s ability to withdraw money from participating ATMs using their Wallet Card. Google is going to roll out more information on this feature soon.

As MasterCard became one of the four payment networks to support Android Pay, Ed McLaughlin, Chief Emerging Payments Officer, MasterCard said, We are thrilled to work with Google to deliver a safe and secure payment experience for our cardholders through Android Pay. As nearly every device has become – or is on its way to becoming – a shopping device, we’re delighted to be able to bring consumers even more choices in how, when and where they want to pay.

On the other side, the much awaited Android Pay is out today and it will work on all NFC enabled Android devices. All the Android devices running KitKat 4.4 and above are NFC enabled. Android Pay is supported by the 4 big payments networks, viz. American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa. The issuer banks supporting Android Pay include American Express, Bank of America, Discover, Navy Federal Credit Union, PNC, Regions Bank, USAA, and U.S. Bank. However Wells Fargo, Citibank and Capital One customers will have to wait for few days according to Android’s official blog.

All major locations (more than 1 million locations) in the US with an NFC enabled payment terminal will accept Android Pay. Android Pay users will also be able to make in-app purchases using this payment method later this year. Major supporting Android Pay apps are Airbnb, Chipotle, Domino’s, Uber, Lyft, Groupon, Expedia and many others. Android Pay is secured with the industry standard tokenization and protected by Android Device Manager feature where users can instantly lock their phone and wipe all the details if their phone is stolen or lost.

In a recent press release, Pali Bhat, Director, Product Management, Google said, "We're excited to bring the simplicity and security of mobile payments to MasterCard customers with Android Pay. With Android Pay, people will be able to use their Android device to pay at more than one million stores in the US and we're adding more every day."

How to use Android Pay?

To use Android Pay, all you have to do is download the app from Google Play Store, click the pictures of your card or manually enter the card details inside the app, unlock the phone before you make the purchase and hold it near the NFC enabled payment terminal to complete the purchase. Unlike Apple Pay, you won’t have to scan your finger to complete the purchase. You will be able to identify a NFC enabled payment terminal by locating a Android or NFC logo on the payment terminal stand.