Google's Android Pay could unlock payments

Google's newest mobile payment platform is being heralded as the application that finally gets it right, but will Android Pay finally get shoppers to tap to pay?

Android Pay doesn't replace Google Wallet, rather, it is separate tap-to-pay payment option. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is boasting of secure payments and flexibility that far exceed Apple Pay. Each payment is tokenized for security and shoppers have several options in how and where they can use Android Pay.

Android Pay offers the tap-to-pay option at the terminal and is able to integrate Android Pay into apps, meaning loyalty programs and special rewards will be automatically loaded. Apple Pay cannot currently do this. Shoppers can also use Android Pay to pay for goods and services online.

The platform is designed to work with any payment processor. Google has partnered with existing processors including Braintree, CyberSource, First Data, Stripe and Vantiv. Approximately 700,000 brick-and-mortar stores and 1,000 mobile apps will accept Android Pay when it's released later this year. These retailers include teen apparel retailers Aeropostale and American Eagle Outfitters, Best Buy, Macy's and McDonald's.

Perhaps even more important for adoption, AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile will preinstall Android Pay on phones, according to Osama Bedier, the former PayPal executive involved in the creation of Google Wallet.

"That's the headline here," Bedier told Wired. "You have to have the wallet on board the phone. Otherwise, people have to download an app—and getting them to do that is much, much harder."

Android Pay will offer a lot of flexibility for users, particularly for young, mobile-friendly shoppers. Nonetheless, until Android Pay ships, Apple Pay is still the dominant mobile payment method available today, and the service has been busily adding merchants.

Specialty apparel retailer Express now accepts Apple Pay and grocery retailer Trader Joe's signed on earlier this month. Best Buy joined in April while Alibaba, Home Depot and Target are reportedly interested in adding the payment system.

For more:
-See this Google announcement 
-See this Wired story
-See this FierceRetailIT story

Related stories:
Mobile payment adoption slower than you think
Amazon pulls plug on Wallet
Samsung in negotiations to launch its own mobile payment system
Apple Pay's following grows heading into holiday season
Google, Target data shows mobile search ads drive in-store sales

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