Google's new Android Pay is officially rolling out in the U.S., arriving as the second update to its mobile payments system that rivals Apple Pay.
The newly-updated Android Pay mobile walled will work with all Android devices that support NFC and run KitKat 4.4 or higher, allowing users to make mobile payments at any tap-to-pay location in the U.S. According to Google, Android Pay will work at over one million locations across the U.S. In addition, the mobile wallet can also store users' gift cards and loyalty cards, as well as special offers, directly on their phones.
Android Pay supports credit and debit cards from mall four major payment networks in the U.S. - American Express, MasterCard, Visa and Discover. More will come soon, including Wells Fargo, Citi and Capital One.
For existing Google Wallet users, the new Android Pay will be available via an update to the Wallet app. New users, meanwhile, will be able to download Android Pay from the Play Store in the following days. At the same time, new NFC-enabled Android handsets from Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and AT&T will come with android Pay pre-installed.
How to Set Up Android Pay
First of all, look for the Android Pay app on your phone. If it's not pre-installed, head over to Google Play and download the app. From there on, you can add existing cards in your Google account to Android Pay by confirming some details, or you can choose to add a new card. Once you've added your card, you're good to go.
How It Works
With Android Pay, users can pay for goods simply by unlocking their Android phone and placing it near a contactless payments terminal. Android Pay detects the merchant's payments terminal and you can tap to pay without any additional hassle, as you don't even have to open any app.
Once you tap to pay, you will receive the confirmation and transaction details on your Android phone and the loyalty points and offers from select merchants will also be automatically applied at checkout.
In terms of security, Android Pay aims to take all necessary precautions to ensure users' sensitive data is not compromised. Android Pay will not send the user's actual credit or debit card number with the payment, but will instead use a virtual account number for the account information so the actual card details are secure.
Android Pay doesn't rely on fingerprint scanners to authenticate payments because not all Android phones supported have fingerprint scanners. Instead, Android Pay works with PIN codes, passwords or patterns for authenticating transactions.
Keeping track of Android Pay purchases is easy, as users can see the location where they made a transaction, the merchant's name and number, as well as the amount of money spent there.
In case Android Pay users lose their phone, they can instantly and remotely lock their device, set a new password or wipe it clean via Android Device Manager, without having to cancel all credit cards.
To make its Android Pay even more useful and easy to use, Google has also been working with app developers for "Buy with Android Pay" buttons. This allows users to check out simply by tapping a button rather than having to submit their card info and shipping address with each purchase. Apps that will support Android Pay at launch include Domino's, Chipotle, Dunkin Donuts, Groupon, Etsy, Lyft, JackThreats, GrubHub, Airbnb, Newegg, TripAdvisor, Expedia, OpenTable and more. According to Google, Android Pay will soon be available in "thousands of apps."