That was quick. Google has finally and officially announced Android Pay quickly after the new Google Wallet app was released. We didn’t think it would be that fast even if it was already tipped since last February. The Android Pay framework was even confirmed as early as March and we got hands-on feature a couple of months later. We somehow believed a McDonald’s memo that it might be coming August 26 but as you all know, nothing was announced then.
However, we figured it was coming soon since Google Play Services was updated to v8.1 last month that included an unusable Android Pay. And finally, Google has unveiled the new mobile payment method replacing Google Wallet. It’s more of a rename but the Internet giant has promised it will be simpler and more secure.
Android Pay will be readily available in more than one million locations in the United States. It can store most loyalty cards and rewards cards on your smartphone so you won’t have to bring them with you all the time–just tap and pay your device on a terminal. The Android team said that they will be rolling out the service in the next few days and will add more store locations and features soon.
Just like Google Wallet, Android Pay works with NFC-enabled Android phones. It works on all pay ready locations and on any mobile carrier in the country. This mobile payment method supports most debit and credit cards from Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.
At launch, Android Pay supports major banks and credit unions like Bank of America, Navy Federal Credit Union, USAA, US Bank, Regions Bank, Discover, and PNC. Support for Citi, Capitol One, and Wells Fargo will be ready soon.
Google says this Android Pay will be accepted in “over one million locations”: Acme, Aeropostale, American Eagle Outfitters, AT&T, Babies R’ US, Bashas’ BJ’s, Bloomingdales, Champs, Chevron, Coca-Cola, Davis, Disney Store, Duane Reade, Express, Food Maxx, Footaction, Foot Locker, Fuddruckers, GameStop, Golden State Warrios, House of Hoops, Jamba Juice, jetBlue, Jewel-Osco, Lego, Lin’s, Lucky, Macy’s McDonald’s, Meijer, Nike, Office Depot, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Pep Boys, Sephora, Save Mart, Staples, Subway, T-Mobile, Fresh Market, Toys R’ US, Verizon, Whole Foods, and more.
This service will be ready pre-installed on upcoming NFC-enabled Android smartphones from Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, and AT&T. Google Wallet users can quickly switch to Android Pay by simply getting the updated Wallet app.
Don’t be confused just yet with this Google Wallet-Android Pay system. It’s more of a rename but think of it this way: Google Wallet is where your money is kept while Android Pay is what you use to pay. Yeah, it can be confusing at first but we’re hoping Google will call every mobile payment related feature “Android Pay” from now on so people won’t be confused.
Download the latest version of Google Wallet from the Google Play Store