Google has announced Android Pay. This contactless payment system is another attempt of Google to gain a foothold in the payments market. With the smartphone tool consumers are able to instantly pay for goods in physical stores and mobile apps on Android phones.
Google unveiled Android Pay at its annual I/O conference in San Francisco. Dave Burke, vice-president of engineering, told the audience Android Pay is based on NFC and can be used in more than 700,000 stores in the US, including McDonald’s, BestBuy, Staples and Macy’s.
Google Pay in Europe
For now it’s unclear whether Android Pay will come to Europe, but our guess is this will happen after it gained some traction in the US. Pocket-lint has something to add to that. “While it sounds like it will be US only initially, based on the partners announced, there is hope for Europe. Visa Europe has released a statement saying it has partnered with Google and that 2015 will be the year of mobile payments.” They quote Jeremy Nicholds, who is the executive director of mobile at Visa Europe. He said: “Visa Europe is delighted at the prospect of working alongside Google to open up the Android Pay platform when it comes to European Visa cardholders.”
How to use Google Pay
Consumers first need to link their credit or debit card to the new service. Then it’s just a matter of unlocking the device, holding it up to a NFC reader and it’s done. No need to open an app. Afterwards, a payment confirmation pops up so the customer can see the transaction details right on their screen.
Google explains that with Android Pay the contactless terminal does not only receive the customer’s payment info, but also their loyalty programs and offers. “For example, when you tap to buy a Coke at a vending machine, your MyCokeRewards will be automatically applied.”
The search giant has tried launching contactless payment systems earlier, but it’s now betting on its latest invention. “It’s still early days, but we’re very excited and think that this type of open platform will help drive adoption in mobile payments”, the company says.
‘Retailers must evolve with changing customer journey’
Commerce service provider Salmon also watched the I/O conference and commercial director Iain Devine thinks the launch of Android Pay emphasized the need for retailers to evolve with the changing customer journey. “A digital-first world means consumers demand things better and faster, expecting to shop at the pace, time and location of their choosing”, he explains. “Retailers must seamlessly integrate customer experiences across multiple channels to meet such demand. For example by capturing data from every customer touch-point, retailers can deliver a next-generation shopping experience. Targeted promotions, added extras for loyal customers or customer recognition at the payment stage will all give retailers the edge.”
Google announced today, at the second day of the I/O conference, the launch of Hands Free. This app will allow customers to complete transactions (at partner locations of course) by simply telling the cashier you’d like to “Pay with Google”. That’s it. For now, this will only work at McDonald’s and Papa John’s in the US, but interested retailers can fill out a form to be considered for the preview period.