US-only initial launch sees over one million stores accepting Android Pay
Google has launched the first rollout of its Android Pay mobile payments service.
In a fairly low-key announcement, the search giant revealed that Android Pay is now available to users in the United States, and will be accepted in around one million stores across the country.
The service will be available for download on Google Play over the next few days, and will also now come preinstalled on new NFC-enabled Android phones.
There’s no news yet on a UK launch, but given the popularity of the system, it surely won’t be long.
“Today, we’re beginning to roll out Android Pay — the simple and secure way to pay with your Android phone at over one million locations across the US,” Pali Bhat, Android Pay’s director of product management, said in a blog post. “We’ll be rolling out gradually over the next few days, and this is just the beginning. We will continue to add even more features, banks and store locations in the coming months, making it even easier to pay with your Android phone.”
Google says that Android Pay works with all NFC-enabled Android devices (running KitKat 4.4 and above), on any mobile carrier, at every tap and pay ready location across the US. Android Pay will support credit and debit cards from the four major payment networks: American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa.
It will also include gift cards, loyalty cards and special offers for easy access, with big names such as Subway, Toys R Us and Whole Foods among stores which will accept Android Pay.
Security is provided by industry standard tokenisation policies, meaning that a user’s card number is never sent with the payment. Android Pay also provides users with a payment confirmation that shows where a transaction took place in order to make catching any suspicious activity simple.
Users of Google Wallet, which received a full makeover earlier this week as part of the anticipated launch of Android Pay, will be able to access Android Pay through an update on the app.
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