Android Pay Launches Today, Google Wallet Changes

by Ben Jackson 0

Users of Google Wallet got a message today that read “Coming Soon! Android Pay and a new Google Wallet.” The In an FAQ, linked from the Wallet’s home screen, Google explains the difference.ce

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Android Pay is the simple and secure way to use or Android phone to pay in stores and within apps.

It also explains the changes to Google Wallet.

We built the new Google Wallet app from the ground up to give you a fast, free way to send and request money on both Android and iOS devices. All you need is a US debit card or bank account. You can quickly transfer any money you receive to your bank account or spend it in stores using the Google Wallet Card, wherever Debit MasterCard is accepted.

The changes step up Android’s competition with both Apple Pay and with companies like Venmo that offer P-to-P services. Allowing funds sent via Google Wallet to be spent with the Google Wallet Card provides a great level of liquidity than other p-to-p services, but it is not clear if that will cause users to switch.

Fortune magazine reports that seven out of ten Android phones in the United States are set up for Android Pay already.

The service, which was initially announced in May, lets people with mobile phones running on Google’s Android mobile operating system upload credit and debit card information to a “mobile wallet.” Starting Thursday, shoppers will be able to use their phone to pay at more than one million retail stores in the U.S. that have point-of-sale registers equipped with near field communication technology, known as NFC.

The Verge is reporting that Android phones with Google Wallet installed will get an update that changes the app into Android Pay, but that users will need to wait until their bank supports Android Pay before they can start using it.

One thing to note: if you’ve been using Google Wallet to tap and pay, there’s a chance that you’ll lose that ability with Android Pay until your individual bank is supported. This owes to the product’s security measures; Android Pay is safer to use, but it requires involvement from Google’s partners instead of linking any old debit card to your account.

The launch of Android Pay will not dramatically change the smartphone market, since payments are not at the top of anyone’s list when it comes to choosing a mobile phone. However, the launch may speed the adoption of mobile payments because not more people than ever before will have the apps and the media attention and presence of Apple Pay will have conditioned more consumers to view their phones as a payment device.

Overview by Ben Jackson, Director, Prepaid Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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