Android Pay Launches
The mobile payments race just kicked into high gear, with Google Inc. today announcing the immediate launch of Android Pay, joining Apple Pay with a little more than two weeks to go before Samsung Pay rolls out Sept. 28 in the U.S.
Android Pay will be available for download on Google Play in the next few days, the company said. The mobile payment service, compatible with NFC-equipped Android handsets, enables consumers to tap to pay at participating merchants, after they download the app and add a credit, debit, small business or prepaid card from a participating bank. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express and a broad swath of financial institutions have announced support, including Bank of America and U.S. Bank, which said its customers will be able to use Android Pay within a few days. Citibank, Wells Fargo and Capital One also will support Android Pay shortly, Google said.
To pay, a consumer must unlock his device, hold it near a payment terminal that accepts contactless payments, and the payment is completed. Existing Google Wallet users will be able to use Android Pay by installing an update to their existing wallet app from Google Play. Android Pay also will be preloaded on new handsets from AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, Google said. Merchants including Walgreens, SUBWAY, Whole Foods, Macy’s and McDonald’s already announced support; Staples Inc., today said Android Pay will go live in its stores on Sept. 16.