Google has been rolling out new updates to Android Pay and the most notable of the recent additions include support for Visa Checkout and MasterCard's Masterpass, which was introduced Oct. 24.
So what does this exactly mean for the average consumer?
Well, to start with, the new credit card support will allow Android Pay users to go shopping in thousands of sites that support Visa Checkout and Masterpass using their fingerprint instead of providing a username and password. The entire process of buying an item or service has been boiled down to one single tap.
In addition, online shopping payments also got more secure with the simplified but more effective authentication methods. All the user needs to do is link his or her Android Pay account to either Visa Checkout or Mastercard Masterpass.
Google is also touting Android Pay's benefit for online merchants. The updated system allows merchants and developers to easily integrate the mobile payment system into their respective online stores. The tech company also cited how the Android Pay streamlined shopping experience could lead to better profit due to faster checkout times, fewer abandoned carts and higher conversions, among others.
Clearly, Google is bearing down on its mobile payment system hard so it can lodge a credible challenge to Apple Pay, which has been enjoying unprecedented growth as of late. Android Pay adoption is currently dismal in comparison to Apple's payment tool. This is expected to change with the Visa and Mastercard partnerships. Unfortunately, it is not about to happen soon or during the holiday season. The agreement with the credit card companies will kick in the early part of 2017.
Nonetheless, Visa and Mastercard's entry into the Android Pay universe is only part of a wider move to make Android Pay a universal payment system. Google has been working on partnerships that will propel it not just as a solution for online shopping but a tool for other financial transactions as well.
Google is reportedly threshing out details of agreements with several banks to embed Android Pay within their own apps. For example, the payment tool will be used to withdraw cash from Bank of America ATMs soon.
Previous software tweaks also underscore an increasing Android Pay sophistication as a payment system. Several recent API releases include one that can let users bypass all the conventional forms necessary during checkout such as forms asking for personal and shipping information. There is also an API called Save to Android Pay that will enroll customers in loyalty programs.
Based on its initiatives, Google seems bent on approaching its Android Pay strategy by covering all front: consumers, merchants and financial services. It will not be surprising to find the system inextricably embedded in our future lives.