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What’s the Deal with Android Pay?

On May 28, 2015 at Google’s I/O developer conference, the company unveiled its new, highly anticipated application: Android Pay. If your first thought was, “but I thought Google already had its mobile payment platform—wasn’t that exactly what they created with Google Wallet?” then you’re not alone.

Google Wallet was launched on May 26, 2011. Although it is being replaced, Google Wallet is not going away completely. But it was largely unsuccessful in a market that was willing and ready to adopt mobile payment technology (just look at Apple Pay’s success thus far). It will instead be used as a peer-to-peer payment service. So, why didn’t Google Wallet take off? Nobody is exactly sure, but Google thinks it has found its solution. Enter Android Pay.

What is so special about Android Pay?

Just like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Microsoft Payments, Android Pay is a way to pay via your mobile phone. Mobile payments are simply a substitute for using a credit card or cash to check out. You just tap your phone on any supported card terminal, and you’re done. However, Google Wallet did this too, so why the switch? Android Pay offers multiple upgrades that eliminate the headaches that caused the inevitable flop of Google Wallet. Google Wallet forced the user to open an app and type in a PIN in order to unlock saved credit cards, whereas Android Pay won’t require either of these. Instead, it will be built into the operating system. Once the phone is unlocked, you just move it near the terminal to complete the process. On top of its speed, Android Pay will have the wherewithal to remind you of any applicable loyalty cards or gift cards.

Android has also made significant upgrades to its security. Once your cards have been uploaded, Google will create one-time account numbers as substitutes for your actual card numbers. This way, merchants never see your information. After waving your phone in front of the terminal, simply select your card and use your fingerprint to authorize the purchase. However, you will still be able to utilize Android Pay even if your phone doesn’t support fingerprint technology. In fact, Android Pay will work on any NFC-capable device running Android 4.3 and up. If your phone does not comply with fingerprint authorization, you will be forced to enter a passcode or pattern unlocking system.

When can I get it?

So, Android Pay sounds pretty great right? If you’re as excited as I am, you may be wondering when you can get your hands on it. Unfortunately, we have to wait a little while. Android Pay is expected to be integrated into Android’s newest operating system, labeled “Android M.” As of now, it’s scheduled to release sometime in the third quarter (likely September) of this year.

What does this mean for merchants?

Android Pay will reportedly be employed by more than 700,000 retailers upon its release. Chances are, this affects you. However, you won’t have to make any significant technological upgrades in order to accept Android Pay. You simply need a terminal capable of taking NFC payments. And it just so happens that we at PayProTec have terminals already rolling out to our merchants allowing them to accept NFC payments like Android Wallet and Apply Pay.

Get in touch today if you have questions or if you want to start accepting NFC payments with PayProTec.

John Swanson

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