Google said Thursday that it has begun rolling out Android Pay, its version of a mobile payments system that the company says will be available at more than 1 million locations across the U.S.
“We’ll be rolling out gradually over the next few days, and this is just the beginning,” Google says in a blog post. “We will continue to add even more features, banks and store locations in the coming months, making it even easier to pay with your Android phone.
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. The Android Pay system utilizes near field communication (NFC), which uses electromagnetic radio fields to communicate between the phone and the payment terminal.
Google emphasized the system’s security features in its roll-out statement. The company says that a consumer’s personal and financial information is supported by industry standard tokenization.
“This means your real credit or debit card number isn’t sent with your payment,” Google says. “Instead, we’ll use a virtual account number that provides an extra layer of security. As soon as you make a purchase, you’ll see a payment confirmation that shows where a given transaction happened, so it’s easy to catch any suspicious activity.”
Moreover, 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,” Google adds.