You no longer have to use Google's official app if you want to get started with Android Pay's tap-to-buy features. The internet giant has forged partnerships with several financial institutions (currently including Bank of America, BNZ, Discover, mBank and USAA) that let you add cards and use Android Pay from within their mobile banking apps. The tap-to-pay experience should remain familiar, right down to getting notifications whenever you make a purchase.
The addition won't matter much if you're comfortable with NFC-based purchases, but it could help expand Android Pay's reach. Many people don't know their phones can handle tap-to-pay shopping, and this could expose them to the concept for the first time. It's also a sharp contrast with the likes of Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, where you typically have to use first-party tools to get started. Google is clearly betting that the more open nature of Android Pay will give it a larger footprint.