Today Google officially began the roll out of Android Pay by releasing the Android Pay application on the Google Play Store. Android Pay was announced earlier this year at Google I/O and is Google's new NFC based payment service for Android smartphones. It's effectively a successor to Google Wallet, although Google Wallet still exists as a service for sending P2P payments. The rollout of the new application actually began last week as an update for Google Wallet users, but today the application should be available to all users for direct download.

Android Pay will work on any smartphone running Android 4.4 KitKat or newer so long as the phone has NFC hardware. At launch the service will only be available in the United States, and will support a variety of credit and debit cards from various US banks and credit unions. There will also be support for gift cards and loyalty cards from retailers.

Google's Android Pay website details a number of stores that support Android Pay, but since the service uses NFC it will work at any store that has tap to pay support. It will also work in Android applications that have partnered with Google to support Android Pay payments, and you can view a list of those applications along with a list of supported banks and credit unions on the Android Pay site.

Source Google Play via Engadget

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  • solipsism - Friday, September 18, 2015 - link

    As far as I can tell, this works EXACTLY the same way as Apple Pay from the representational card numbers stored on each device that is created, stored and authenticated by each participating financial institution, to how it now only goes through the PoS system to their ISP and banking service for authentication, without the need for Internet access on your mobile payment device or using anything from Google's online services. Reply
  • cjb110 - Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - link

    They're technical differences between the two, Apple relies on hardware encryption methods, so the transaction is secure on that device (i.e. you cant view your apple watch payments on your iPhone). They both use virtual cards, but again there's differences in how they do this. I know Ars has done a number of articles on the nitty gritty. To the end user the operation should be the same though. Reply
  • pukemon1976 - Friday, September 18, 2015 - link

    What's wrong with wallet? And how come many stores are upgrading their terminals but not turning on nfc payment option? Reply
  • ishmoo21 - Friday, September 18, 2015 - link

    A lot of stores are upgrading their POS system to be able to take the new chip cards that are being issued. These new systems have NFC as well most of the time. I guess stores just aren't turning that part on. Reply
  • shabby - Friday, September 18, 2015 - link

    You guys are just getting chip and pin? Wow you're so far behind, i've been tapping my card for instant payment for years now in canada. Reply
  • Wardrop - Friday, September 18, 2015 - link

    Likewise in Australia. My bank even allows me to make NFC payments on my OnePlus One using their app. Super easy. Reply
  • prisonerX - Saturday, September 19, 2015 - link

    Fancy that, you get the same comment from two small countries that have a similar population, economy and politics and similarly have a handful (around 5) of large dominant banks that make up their banking system.

    Compare that with the US that has a much larger economy, a much different banking system and a much different politics.

    You can argue which one is better, but you can't argue which one is much more difficult to co-ordinate such a change in.
    Reply
  • Murloc - Saturday, September 19, 2015 - link

    larger economy has nothing to do with it, it's just lack of political will.

    Chip and pin was rolled out all over Europe years ago, despite the mess of different countries and legal and regulatory systems, and despite the whole area being a large economy with a bunch of different banks too (I mean just take a look at Italy, there's enough banks to make your head explode).

    And now the US isn't even doing chip and pin, just chip and signature. Because politics and big business. Big business is moving a bit now only because of the huge data breaches.
    Reply
  • Zoomer - Sunday, September 20, 2015 - link

    Who cares about C+P? It's really a non-issue, and I doubt it makes commercial sense now. It was (and perhaps still is) cheaper to eat the fraud cost than make the investment to C+P. Perhaps the issuers saw the writing on the wall with current fraud trajectory.

    Political will? Why should the government insert itself into such private commercial matters?
    Reply
  • joex4444 - Monday, September 21, 2015 - link

    With literally all of Europe on C+P, the vast majority of fraud is committed with American credit/debit cards. Once you invest in C+P the fraud is expected to go down, offsetting the investment. Delaying it saves you the investment cost, but how many years of fraud can that afford to cover? It's not like it'll just go away on its own; very few criminals get tired of free money. Reply

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