According to Ars Technica and iDownload Blog, Google will be introducing Android Pay in May. Google has had Google Wallet for about four years now, so the revamp shows that a) Google Wallet has stagnated, and b) Apple Pay is having a huge impact, and Google needs to change in order to survive in the mobile payments market.
In my opinion, this is a win-win for everybody. Although the focus will be on the continuing competition between Apple and Google, this will open up more Android users to mobile payments. Combined Android and iOS users dominate the smartphone market and the more of their customers use mobile payments the more retailers and banks will have to get on board of NFC technology to support payments made with phones. America has needed a good kick in the direction of contactless payments, where Europe is actually ahead of us. This form of payment is far safer than the current regime of swiping debit and credit cards. Retialers hold on to these card numbers which allows for the rash of hackings we’ve seen recently, and bank members needing new cards every three months. If Android makes their payment system both secure and simple, this will be a huge step forward.
- Much to my chagrin, I have not had the opporunity to use Apple Pay because my bank is very slow technologically. They said it would be available soon, but that was in October, so I’m not holding my breath. I’m hoping Android Pay will push them to adopt both platforms sooner if enough people demand the service.