Rumors Swirl as Countdown to Android Pay, Samsung Pay Launches Near (Aug. 25, 2015)
Google Inc. in May said Android Pay would launch “soon,” and this week notifications surfaced at some McDonald’s stores suggesting the rollout could come as early as this week. Other reports indicate Android Pay won’t be fully available until October, at least. Google hasn’t released any specific launch date for the m-payments service, but industry observers are keenly awaiting the moment when Apple Pay faces fresh competition from Android Pay and Samsung Pay, which is set to roll out Sept. 28 in the U.S.
Adding to the intrigue are reports that Verizon—which will support Android Pay, along with AT&T and T-Mobile—has not signed on to support Samsung Pay. Samsung Pay is touting its magnetic secure technology (MST) as a key advantage over other m-payments services, because it enables contactless payments with newer Samsung handsets at any payment terminal, including those not yet configured to support NFC. Verizon, a key distributor of Samsung phones, reportedly could opt to block MST, potentially crippling a key feature of Samsung Pay. Verizon says it’s still evaluating Samsung Pay, according to various news sources.
Separately, Wristly reports that about 80 percent of Apple Watch owners have used Apple Pay at least once since its launch last fall. Other industry reports suggest only 15 percent to 20 percent of Apple Pay iPhone 6 owners are routinely using Apple Pay.