Google Launches Android Pay, In-App Capability Delayed
Sept. 14, 2015
Android Pay, Google’s e-wallet for Android devices designed to compete with Apple Pay, officially launched last Thursday. This is Google’s second attempt at a mobile payment solution after trying with Google Wallet four years ago and not gaining any traction as adoption lagged (Google also announced a revamped version of Google Wallet, which will focus on P2P payments). At launch, the tech giant said Android Pay will be accepted at more than a million retail locations and is supported by most of the large U.S. credit-card issuers. One feature not available at launch? In-app payments, which Google’s Director of Product Management Pali Bhat said will be available later this year.
Mobile wallets enabling contactless purchases at stores have had numerous false starts. The latest round of mobile hype, which started with Apple Pay last year and continued with the recent introduction of Samsung Pay, may be a catalyst for a tipping point in consumer adoption. A recent survey by InfoScout, however, found that the number of eligible iPhone owners trying Apple Pay for the first time dropped from 15 percent in March to 13 percent in June. An increasing percentage of those surveyed cited security (19 percent in June vs. 15 percent in March) as the reason they don’t use Apple Pay. Google hopes messaging around security can help allay that concern with Android Pay.
“We know how important it is to keep your personal and financial information secure, so Android Pay is supported by industry standard tokenization,” said Bhat. “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.”
Android Pay will come preloaded on all Android devices sold by Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile.