With Google’s annual I/O developer conference approaching on the scheduled dates May 28-29 at Moscone West in San Francisco, all eyes are on the launch of Android Pay API - expected to take off from where its predecessor Google Wallet failed. So what exactly is Google or Android Pay?
What is Android Pay?
It was a moment of revelation when Sundar Pichai, Sr. Vice President, Google spoke about the technology giant’s ambitious project – the newest payment tool Android Pay at the keynote address at Mobile World Congress, 2015. Android Pay - an addition to the premier list of Contactless payments provider (in the league of Apple Pay & Samsung Pay), is an API layer in Android that will allow developers to build a payment service onto Android. Now, the catch Mr. Pichai revealed is that Google Wallet itself, will be a customer of Android Pay and it will work with NFC (Near Field Communications) chips.
How it works
Android Pay from Google will allow Companies to add a mobile payments option to their app. To this users can upload credit or/and debit card information, which will allow payments to become single-tap transactions within the application. Moreover, the Company embracing the Android Pay API will be able to allow tap-to-pay transactions even in brick-and-mortar stores. This function will bank on Google’s Host Card Emulation (HCE) that will simplify and allow third-party apps to cash in on Android phones’ NFC chips.
Lessons to Learn from Google Wallet’s failure
One of the many reasons that led to the epic failure of Google Pay is associated with carriers' interest in payments Company that led to the blocking of Google's Wallet. As per reports, barring Sprint -the non-participating carrier; all Google Wallet was straightaway blocked by Verizon and the other joint-venture partners, quoting security concerns.
Going by Google’s revelation at MWC 2015; unlike Google Wallet, Android Pay API will most likely be “built from the ground up” for Android developers, using HCE. Google is primarily intending to present Android Pay as a developer tool made available via API unlike its counterpart Apple Pay, which is an integrated app.
Contactless Payments Arena: Android Pay vs. Apple Pay vs. Samsung Pay
With rumors of Android Pay API making way at the Google I/O event this May, the competition in the Contactless Payment zone warms up with Apple Pay and Samsung Pay in the fray. Some of the common features that Android Pay will share with its competitors:
- Google’s system will tokenize card numbers that will generate a one-time payment token
- The token will help transmission to the receiving terminal for each transaction rather than just offering the user’s static credit card information – minimizing hacking risk if transmission is intercepted.
- Android Pay will use NFC for transmission
- Support biometric authentication via hardware.
- Allow businesses implement it with absolute freedom - to present and integrate it into their branding strategy.
- Android Pay promises healthy competition for its rivals with the prime intention to offer up more consumer choice.
There cannot be a more appropriate event for Google to present its much awaited Contactless Payments than the Google I/O event, where thousands of developers, partners and press are expected to come together to witness the latest announcements on Google's platforms, products and services. Although, initial observations reveal Google’s intention to leave the Android Pay initiative to developers and participating brands for implementation; it remains inconclusive as to how the system will perform with multiple apps and in-store transactions. Also remains unanswered is the question, ‘How much data the company plans to collect’.
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