Google’s second attempt at a mobile wallet, Android Pay, has launched in the US today. Working with all NFC-enabled Android devices, if running mobile operating system KitKat 4.4, Android Pay can be used to purchase items at over one million store locations across the US on NFC terminals. In-app purchase capability will follow.
While storing your payment card, the mobile wallet can also hold gift cards, loyalty cards and special offers.
Cards from the four major payment networks (American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa) are eligible. Banks already signed up for Android Pay include Bank of America, PNC, Regions Bank, USAA and U.S. Bank. This is less than the number of banks accepting Apple Pay, but according to Android: "Wells Fargo will be available in the next few days, Capital One and Citi coming soon, and we’re adding new banks all the time."
With regards to security, Android Pay is supported by industry standard tokenisation. Pali Bhat, director of product management at Android Pay, said: "This means your real credit or debit card number isn’t sent with your payment. Instead, we’ll use a virtual account number that provides an extra layer of security."
The platform will be extended to mobile checkouts in some apps later this year, but Google is yet to reveal when Android Pay will be available outside the US.