Android Pay is Google Wallet, Upgraded

By Bryan Lufkin on at

Everyone suspected that Google had a big announcement about a new payments system at I/O, and everyone was right.

Android Pay was confirmed at today’s Google I/O conference. It’s an API that will help businesses allow their customers to make payments from their credit cards within a mobile app. It can be used in brick-and-mortar stores and on other types of mobile apps alike.

Android Pay is partnering with over 700,000 shops in the US, and Google says they’ll work with major cards. Sadly there was no mention of a UK release, so we could end up with another Apple Pay on our hands.

To use, Google says just unlock your phone like normal, place it in front of the data-slurping terminal, and boom. Payment complete. A virtual account number is created; your card number isn’t shared at the shop.

Plus, Android Pay will work with other apps like Groupon and Grubhub, which will offer the Android Pay payment option to users as they make their purchases within the Groupon or Grubhub app.

The writings for this announcement were on the wall: Earlier this year, Google acquired mobile payments app Softcard, and there had been rumors about a revamped Google Wallet. In this world of Venmo lovers, digital payments systems are getting more and more popular for individuals, and companies also want give that option to their consumers. Other big tech companies are on the scene, too, not just Google. Apple has Apple Pay, Samsung has Samsung Pay. Even Facebook now allows person-to-person payments—in chat threads!

Android Pay is just the latest of systems that are poised to permanently change the way people shop and fork over their hard-earned cash.