More and more, we are seeing people pay for items in the real world with their smartphones, thanks to the introduction of mobile payment services. One of them is Android Pay, developed by Google to be used on both Android smartphones and Android Wear-based smartwatches. In this article, we will give you all the information you need about Android Pay, including its history, and how to use Android pay. We also tell you where you can use it, and most importantly what banks currently support the service. So, what are we waiting for, let's get started:
What is Android Pay?
Android Pay was first announced by Google at its 2015 I/O developer conference, and it officially launched a few months later on Sept. 11, 2015 in the US. Android Pay is a successor, kind of, to the older Google Wallet, which is still around but is now used by people to send money to others. Android Pay, on the other hand, is a full mobile payment system, designed to let people purchase items and services both online and in the real world.
Expansion of Android Pay:
While it launched first in the US, it has since expanded its reach and is now available from banks and other financial institutions in the UK, Canada, Ireland, Poland, Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Belgium, Japan, Russia and New Zealand. It is scheduled to launch later in 2017 in South Korea and Brazil. Recently, a report claims that Google plans to launch a separate payment service, Google Tez, in the huge market of India. It will reportedly work with the Indian government’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) for mobile transactions.
How secure is Android Pay?
We live in an age where not a week goes by before a major new security leak is publicly reported. Naturally, there is consider about how secure Android Pay is to use. In this case, if you use your phone or watch to send a Android Pay-based payment to an NFC terminal, a randomly generated 16-digit number is sent, rather than your credit card and personal info. That means if that terminal, or the store that you used, is hacked, your personal financial info should be safe.
How does Android Pay work?
On supported smartphones and smartwatches, Google’s payment service uses near field communication (NFC) technology.
A user stores their credit or debit card information on their Android Pay account, and when they want to pay for an item or service, they take their phone or watch and place it near the retailer’s point-of-sale terminal.
A signal send through NFC hardware send the payment information from the phone or watch to the POS terminal.
Android Pay can also be used on some NFC-enabled ATMs so users can get cash money from their bank account, again without having to pull out their credit or debit card.
Benefits of Android Pay:
Now, you can also store and use a number of gift cards and retailer rewards cards on your account. For an additional amount of security, you can set up Android Pay so that, if your phone has a fingerprint scanner, it can be used to verify the payment within the app. Android Pay users can also type in a passcode to do the same thing if their don’t have a fingerprint reader.
How is Android Pay different from Apple Pay and Samsung Pay?
The big, and pretty obvious, difference between Android Pay and Apple Pay is that Apple’s service cannot be used on Android phones or watches; it is only available on iPhones and Apple Watch devices. Otherwise, it works much in the same way that Google’s service does, as both use NFC hardware to pay for items at POS terminals.
Samsung Pay vs. Android Pay:
Samsung Pay is available on a number of recent Samsung-based smartphones, along with its Gear S2 and Gear S3 smartwatches. The biggest difference is that Samsung Pay, in addition to supporting NFC-based terminals, can also use Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) technology. Samsung has put in a magnetic coil inside some of its recent Galaxy smartphones, and the field created by that coil, combined with the Samsung Pay app, can be used to transmit payment signals to normal credit and debit card terminals. In essence, Samsung Pay make those terminals think they are being accessed by a normal magnetic strip found in credit and debit cards.
Again, only a select number of Galaxy smartphones currently support Samsung Pay. In addition, the company recently announced Samsung Pay Mini, which can only be used for online purchases.
How to set up Android Pay on your phone?
If you want to start using Android Pay on your smartphone, and if your bank or financial institutions happens to support it, the good news is that it is pretty easy to set up. Indeed, it’s likely that if you purchase a new Android phone, the Android Pay app is already pre-installed.
If that’s not the case, you can download Android Pay from the Google Play Store.
Then you just tap on the app and hit the “+” sign to add a credit or debit card from your supported bank.
Again, you can also add supported gift cards or loyalty program details to your Android Pay account. Some users might already see that your credit or debit card is already available in the Android Pay app.
That’s likely because you used them to purchase items via Google in the past.
Android Pay, like its many competitors, still have a lot of room to grow in terms of both users in general, along with the addition of more banks and international markets. As more support is added, we ill update this feature with that information. In the meantime, do you use Android Pay on your phone? Let us know your thoughts on the service in the comments!