The Strategist

Android Pay is Now Ready for Use

09/11/2015 - 15:52

Google has announced the launch of Android Pay payment service enabling payments via smartphones at cash desks in shops and payment terminals. For now, the service will be available in the US only; date of launch in Europe has not yet been reported.

Kārlis Dambrāns via flickr
Kārlis Dambrāns via flickr
The launch of the service in the US Android Pay was formally announced late last night. It is reported the system will be available at more than 1 million locations across the country. The system runs on Android 4.4 Kit Kat and above, as well as on smart phones equipped with technology NFC.  Payments can be made via the largest payment systems American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa, issued by banks and financial companies such as American Express, Bank of America, Discover, Navy Federal Credit Union, PNC, Regions Bank, USAA and US Bank. In the near future, the service will be compatible with cards banks of Citi, Wells Fargo and Capital One. Subway, Toys R Us, Macy's, Bloomingdales, Office Depot, American Eagle Outfitters, Coca-Cola, Pepsi and others are ready to take the payments. In addition, users can link their accounts to all existing loyalty cards, discount and storage cards of partner companies. So far, Google has not said anything about the date of launch outside the US.

The company claims that the system maximally protects personal data even if the smartphone is lost. "The real credit card number and the account are not sent with the payment. Instead, we are using a virtual account number, which gives an extra level of protection. When you make a purchase on your phone, you are prompted to confirm the payment, with indication the place of purchase, so it is easy to keep track of any suspicious activity. Even if your phone is stolen or lost, you can use Device Manager service an instantly lock your device from any location, change the password on it, or even delete all personal information", - says the statement.

The upcoming launch of Android Pay announced in May. The experts immediately pointed out that Google has decided not to wait until Apple Pay system, launched last fall, conquers the market of contactless payments via smartphones. It was only first days of launch Apple Pay when users linked more than 1 million bank cards to it. In addition, Apple Pay can work not only in the US, but in the UK too. Outside of these countries, the service can be used if linked to the US or UK bank card.

Android Pay is another Google's attempt to enter the market of mobile payments. Back in 2011, the company came up with a system Google Wallet, but, because of problems in support by the leading mobile operators in the US, Google didn’t manage to massively introduce it to retail stores in the United States.

As the popularity of services for mobile payments grows, the biggest high-tech companies are stepping up in the fight for consumers. For example, Samsung is going to present its own mobile payment already on September 28. According to research firm eMarketer, last year, the total volume of payments made using smartphones in retail stores, was $ 3.5 billion, and by 2018, it will have grown to $ 118 billion.