Google's New Take on Mobile Payments Puts Focus on Developers With Android Pay

Android-IconAt Mobile World Congress today Senior Vice President of Google Sundar Pichai revealed a handful of new projects the company is working on, including a new mobile payments solution called Android Pay (via The Verge).

Though only spoken of briefly, Pichai mentioned that the new service would take a decidedly more developer-focused route, calling Android Pay a "developer tool" that would give those developers considerable flexibility in how to implement the payments service.

He noted that the service was less a new consumer-level product and more of an "API layer" that will give other developers and companies the chance to build interesting mobile payment solutions on Android platforms.
"We are doing it in a way in which anybody else can build a payments service on top of Android," said Pichai. "So, in places like China and Africa we hope that people will use Android Pay to build innovative services."

Although Pichai did not explain the details of Android Pay to any great degree, he claimed it would "start with NFC" and eventually accommodate biometric sensors as well.
Google's news follows on the heels of Samsung's own entry into the contactless payment market with Samsung Pay just yesterday. Samsung's offering is set to be baked in to the upcoming Summer release of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge smartphones, which will include a fingerprint scanner to help secure mobile payments made on the device, falling far more in line as a direct competitor to Apple Pay than Google's new service.

Samsung is attempting to come out of the gate strong, with the company having already made deals with MasterCard and Visa to support the service and attempting to line up various other companies and banks before the new Galaxy phone launches this summer. The announcement appears to be a direct continuation of Samsung's acquisition of mobile payments-focused company LoopPay earlier in February, setting itself up to battle Apple Pay in the coming months.

Pichai noted during MWC that Android Pay is a bit more malleable of a service, not locking itself onto one specific phone or brand similar to Apple Pay or the upcoming Samsung Pay. He continued that the company doesn't mean to directly compete with Samsung's newly announced mobile payments service, and mentioned that Google wanted to "work closely [together] to see how we can align [with them]."

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
Tags: Samsung Pay, Android Pay


Top Rated Comments

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21 months ago
Apparently nobody can think of original names anymore.
Rating: 26 Votes
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21 months ago
Android Pay. Reeeeeeal original.
Rating: 17 Votes
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21 months ago

Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay.

I knew Apple should have called it iPay (and iWatch)


Because iPay and iWatch don't sound creepy at all.
Rating: 9 Votes
Avatar
21 months ago

Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay.

I knew Apple should have called it iPay (and iWatch)


I'm stumped trying to think of what name blackberry may give it should they come up with a payment system! :)
Rating: 5 Votes
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21 months ago
Great name! /s

Sigh...so they just couldn't keep the Google Wallet name? Oh okay. You had GW all these years, NOW you finally want to get serious about it?
Rating: 4 Votes
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21 months ago
It still bothers me that people say apple steals all their ideas from other companies while Samsung and Google are innocent. Then right when apple pay becomes successful other companies follow along and either make a new payment service (Samsung pay) or remake an old one that never caught on (Google wallet). I understand why the other companies are following along I'm just tired of people saying Apple is the only company that comes in second.
Rating: 3 Votes
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21 months ago

I'm stumped trying to think of what name blackberry may give it should they come up with a payment system! :)


Payberry
Rating: 3 Votes
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21 months ago

Great name! /s

Sigh...so they just couldn't keep the Google Wallet name? Oh okay. You had GW all these years, NOW you finally want to get serious about it?


Google Wallet isn't changing. Did you even read the article? This is a new API for developers to be able to use technologies like NFC/etc to handle payments. Google Wallet will use Android Pay as the backend but nothing will change to the consumer. Android Pay is an open system I would imagine geared toward places like Africa that do not have a lot of payment systems. This would allow new forms of payment to be able to use Android.

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It still bothers me that people say apple steals all their ideas from other companies while Samsung and Google are innocent. Then right when apple pay becomes successful other companies flow along and either make a new payment service (Samsung pay) or remake an old one that never caught on (Google wallet). I understand why the other companies are following along I'm just tired of people saying Apple is the only company that comes in second.


To be fair, Android Pay may take the name from Apple Pay but it has little to do with Apple Pay. Android Pay is an API for developers that goes much farther than Apple Pay. I think at some point Apple will open up Apple Pay but at this point, there is little similarity between Apple Pay and Android Pay. Google Wallet and Apple Pay are the competition for direct credit card payments. Android Pay is something different.
Rating: 3 Votes
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21 months ago

Apple isn't exactly known for original ideas also


Apple has never claimed to be first. They synthesize ideas that are floating around and find a way to improve on those ideas. That in turn allows them to popularize devices that previously hadn't caught on with the general public.
Rating: 3 Votes
Avatar
21 months ago

Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay.

I knew Apple should have called it iPay (and iWatch)


Then it would have been called S Pay
Rating: 2 Votes
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