Android Pay officially launched

After a few false alarms, Google has finally and officially launched its mobile payment service Android Pay. The mobile payment platform debuted Sept. 10.

"Today, we're beginning to roll out Android Pay—the simple and secure way to pay with your Android phone at over one million locations across the U.S," wrote Pali Bhat, director of product management for Android Pay, in a blog post.

Android Pay is a fully functioning mobile wallet that will work with all NFC-enabled Android devices running KitKat 4.4 and up, on any mobile carrier. The Android Pay app will be preinstalled on Android devices with the upcoming Marshmallow operating system.

The mobile payment service supports American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa. It will also store and allow shoppers to use loyalty cards from select merchants.

Existing Google Wallet app users will be able to access Android Pay through an app update.

For security, Android is supported by industry standard tokenization, meaning each transaction will have a unique identifier instead of transmitting the user's credit card number. This provides an extra layer of security. A purchase confirmation will be sent as soon as an Android Pay transaction is completed so users will be able to watch for suspicious activity.

Rival payment platform Samsung Pay will roll out Sept. 28 in the United States. 

With the holiday selling season nearly underway, retailers are in a much better position to capitalize on shopper's heavy reliance on mobile devices. It will be interesting to see how much the now widespread availability of mobile payment apps will impact sales.

Mobile use exploded last year and interest in mobile wallets was high, thanks to the introduction of Apple Pay. Consumers have had time to become more accustomed with the technology.

The addition of Android Pay and Samsung Pay, along with more information intended to ease security concerns, could push mobile wallet adoption forward. Already, Kohl's mobile wallet is 30 percent of the retailer's mobile traffic.

*A version of this story originally appeared in FierceMobileRetail's sister publication, FierceRetailIT.

For more:
-See this Google/Android blog post
-See this TechCruch article

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