Google has officially announced Android Pay at Google I/O 2015, it will be part of the Android M release later this year and it will also be supported on NFC compatible devices running Android 4.4 (Kitkat) and above. Android Pay can be used with Android M’s new built-in fingerprint support: purchases can be confirmed using users’ fingerprints. Sounds familiar? Sure, Google is playing catch up with Apple Pay…
At Google I/O, there was no demo of the complete new Android M operating system, but the Google team was showcasing the two main new features, namely Android Pay and Google Now On Tap.
We saw two demos of Android Pay in action, one using NFC to purchase beverages from a vending machine, and another demonstrating Android Pay’s in-app purchase capability.
Android Pay is much simpler to use than Google Wallet, there is no need to launch an external app: once a credit card has been added in the system, users just have to unlock their phone and tap it against a NFC payment terminal. (See the demo in the video dem above shown by Sherice Torres, Director of Marketing, Google Android Pay).
Android Pay will also be available for developers for in-app purchase integration, we got another demo from Google’s Consumer Pay Product Manager for shared car service Lyft, e-commerce site Wish and food delivery service GrubHub.(video below).
No exact release date has been confirmed but Android Pay will ultimately be supported by over 700,000 US retailers and will roll out later this year in parallel to the Android M operating system release. More information is displayed on the official Android M developer Preview & Tools page.