Back at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Google’s Senior Vice President of Android, Chrome and Google Apps talked up Android Pay, Google’s own mobile payments platform. The Apple Pay of Android devices. The main difference being that it is not locked down but that users will have a choice on how to use it to their convenience. Last evening during the Google I/O keynote, we got to hear more about Android Pay, how it will be implemented and Google’s plans for the payments platform.
Android Pay is designed to be simple and secure. Users will only need to unlock their Android devices using the fingerprint scanners or unlock codes and place them infront of the NFC terminals for the payments to be processed in an instant. That’s all. Security concerns are addressed by the integration of the said fingerprint scanners, whose support is now baked right into Android with the M release, and also by the use of a virtual account number to handle transactions. When a user adds their credit or debit card(s), a virtual account number is created. This makes it impossible for the user’s card number to be accessed and therefore their privacy and security is assured.
Google is working with the likes of Mastercard, Visa, America Express and others as well as US carriers Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile to ensure that the devices sold through them have Android Pay working right out of the box.
Android Pay is expected to work in over 700,000 stores Stateside that support contactless payments like McDonald’s and Subway while it works on bringing many others on board.
It doesn’t end there. Android Pay will also be available to application developers to implement it for in-app purchases. It is expected to work with the likes of Uber, Lyft and others immediately it becomes available so it will be possible to pay for your Uber ride using Android Pay.