Google has made it official: It’s new Android Pay will debut this summer as the Internet giant’s new digital wallet service, and it hopes to compete with Apple Pay, which has gained much ground in its short, five-month existence.
Google predicts that Android Pay will be accepted at more than 700,000 store locations and more than 1,000 apps “soon.” “And we’ll be adding more every day,” Google says.
Functioning similarly to Apple Pay, Android Pay will allow consumers with Android smartphones to upload credit, debit and pre-paid card information into a digital wallet. They can then tap their phone on an Android Pay-enabled terminal at a store or restaurant, and payment is made in seconds.
Google had a very similar mobile payments service, dubbed Google Wallet, which launched in 2011 but never developed much of a following.
The Android Pay system utilizes near field communication (NFC), which uses electromagnetic radio fields to communicate between the phone and the payment terminal.
How safe is Android Pay in this increasingly vulnerable era of payment card cybercrimes?
Google says in a statement: “Android Pay won’t send your actual credit or debit card number with your payment. Instead we’ll use a virtual account number to represent your account information — providing you with an extra layer of security. And if your phone is ever lost or stolen, simply use Android Device Manager to instantly lock your device from anywhere, secure it with a new password or even wipe it clean of your personal information.”