Android Pay may soon rival Apple Pay … and Google Wallet, strangely

26 Feb 2015

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Google is launching an Android Pay service this summer to allow consumers to pay in-store for products within an app, similar to the service Apple provides, and Google already provides, which isn’t weird at all.

Sources at Arstechnica claim the new service will be built from the ground up, with Google Wallet remaining, rather than being consumed.

The ability to pay in-store will rely on Google’s NFC chips, with these allowing third-party apps to hook up to the service and make a shopper’s life easier.

Apple Pay’s launch last year drew sharp focus on the mobile payment industry, after Google’s Wallet project got off to a fairly tepid start back in 2011.

Indeed Google Wallet actually received a boost when Apple Pay was launched, with a 50pc increase in the number of transactions through the service soon after.

Interestingly this comes at a time when Google Wallet finally seems to be making strides. The company just acquired Softcard, a payments company backed by Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile.

The result is that, in the US, whenever someone buys an Android phone from any of these providers, the phone will have the Google Wallet app pre-installed.

The reason Google sees this area of mobile technology as important is pretty obvious. The company revolves around advertising, with metadata allowing for more targeted, specific and timely advertising.

Were the company to directly know where you shop, when and what you buy, it would add to Google’s advertising capabilities significantly.

“One notable difference between how Apple Pay and Google Wallet work is that Apple won’t have any access to what users bought or how much they paid,” explains Business Insider. “Google, on the other hand, ‘sees’ every transaction that a user makes.

Mobile payment image via Shutterstock

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Gordon Hunt is a journalist at Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com