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Android Pay is available starting today

Jessica Conditt, @JessConditt
September 10, 2015
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Android Pay, Google's tap-to-pay smartphone wallet, starts rolling out today, the company announced in a blog post. Android Pay will gradually hit all compatible devices over the next few days and it's accepted at more than 1 million locations across the US, including Toys 'R' Us, GameStop, Panera, Walgreens, Macy's, Subway and Whole Foods. Android Pay stores your credit, debit, gift and loyalty cards, and allows users to pay simply by unlocking their phones and placing them near an NFC-connected terminal. Yeah, it's a bit like Apple Pay.

Android Pay is compatible with NFC-enabled Android devices, meaning those that run at least KitKat 4.4, and it will be available across all carriers. It supports credit and debit cards from Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover, and a hefty lineup of popular banks.

As for security, Android Pay uses tokenization, which means transactions are processed via individual account numbers, rather than your actual credit or debit card numbers. If you lose your phone -- rather, your wallet -- head to Android Device Manager to shut it down so no one can spend your cash. Those who use Google Wallet can expect that app to receive the Android Pay update over the next few days, while everyone else will be able to download the standalone app fresh from Google Play.

If you're going to stick with a physical wallet for a while longer, there's still some news here for you: The launch of Android Pay signals the imminent launch of Android's latest mobile OS, Marshmallow.

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