Google launches Android Pay, its new mobile payment platform

Google’s answer to Apple Pay has arrived. Android Pay, the company’s new mobile payments platform, is beginning to roll out in the United States, Google announced Thursday.

The platform is live at more than one million restaurants, stores and other locations in country, Google said, adding that it will be expanding the platform more in the coming weeks and months.

Like Apple Pay, Android Pay relies on near-field communication (NFC) to enable its “tap to pay” payments at compatible point of sale terminals. Google notes that many major retailers and restaurant chains, including Jamba Juice, Macy’s, Chevron, McDonald’s and Coca Cola, have already signed on.

The platform supports major credit cards from some of the biggest banks, including American Express, Bank of America, Discover, Navy Federal Credit Union, PNC, Regions Bank, USAA, and U.S. Bank. Google says Citi Bank and Wells Fargo will be launching within a few days, and that Capital One is “coming soon.”

Android Pay also supports loyalty cards, gift cards and payments within other apps. Though that last feature isn’t yet live, developers will soon be able to add a “buy with Android Pay” for purchases made within their apps.

With Android Pay going live, Google Wallet, Google’s other NFC payment app, will be getting a major overhaul. Android Pay will replace the current Google Wallet app on Google Play, and Google will relaunch a new Wallet app focused on peer-to-peer payments, like Venmo, though it appears the original Wallet app hasn’t yet transitioned.

The new Google Wallet app is already live in Google Play and the company says its iOS equivalent will be hitting the App Store in the next couple days.

Author: Karissa Bell
Source: Mashable