It's shaping up to be a big year for mobile payments, what with Apple Pay enjoying rapid adoption and Samsung finally getting in the game too. Google also has a presence, but it's only very recently decided to ramp up its efforts in this space. Last week, we saw the company team up with AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile to preload its Wallet mobile payment app on new Android phones, and now it's creating a new framework to power payments across its OS.
Speaking at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Google SVP Sundar Pichai confirmed the existence of Android Pay, a platform that will allow developers to build payments into their apps. Don't think of it as a separate app like Wallet (especially as Wallet will utilize the Android Pay platform), but as an OS-level service that makes it easy for app makers or retailers to let you buy things using your Android device.
While Apple Pay lets iPhone users purchase goods in physical stores using NFC, it also provides tools allowing retailers to offer online checkout options using its platform. Pichai didn't go into too much detail as to how Android Pay will work, but did confirm that it will offer similar features to its rival. One is the use of tokenized card numbers, which reduce fraud by generating a one-time credit card number for each transaction. It's also a standard that Visa, MasterCard and American Express all support.
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