Android Pay

Android Pay
Original author(s) Google
Developer(s) Google
Initial release September 11, 2015 (2015-09-11)
Operating system Android KitKat 4.4 and above
Platform Android
License Proprietary

Android Pay is a digital wallet platform developed by Google to power in-app and tap-to-pay purchases on mobile devices, enabling users to make payments with Android phones, tablets or watches. Android Pay uses near field communication (NFC) to transmit card information facilitating funds transfer to the retailer. It replaces the credit or debit card chip and PIN or magnetic stripe transaction at point-of-sale terminals by allowing the user to upload these in the Android Pay wallet. It is similar to contactless payments already used in many countries, with the addition of two-factor authentication. The service lets Android devices wirelessly communicate with point of sale systems using a near field communication (NFC) antenna, Host-based card emulation (HCE), and Android's security.

Android Pay takes advantage of physical security such as fingerprint ID where available. On devices without fingerprint ID, Android Pay is activated with a passcode. When the user makes a payment to a merchant, Android Pay does not send the credit or debit card number with the payment. Instead it generates a virtual account number representing the user's account information. This service keeps customer payment information private, sending a one-time security code instead of the card or user details.[1]

Users can add payment cards to the service by taking a photo of the card, or by entering the card information manually. To pay at points of sale, users hold their authenticated device to the point of sale system. The service has smart-authentication, allowing the system to detect when the device is considered secure (for instance if unlocked in the last 5-minutes) and challenge if necessary for unlock information.[2] Spring CEO Alan Tisch said Android Pay improves Mobile shopping business by supporting a "buy button" powered by Android Pay integrated within vendor's creative design.[3]


Android Pay was released at Google I/O 2015. Android Pay is a successor to and builds on the base established by Google Wallet which was released in 2011.[4] It also uses technology from the carrier-backed Softcard—Google had acquired its intellectual property in February 2015.[1][5] At launch, the service was compatible with 70% of Android devices, and was accepted at over 700,000 merchants.[1] Google Wallet still powers web-based Play Store purchases and some app-based peer-to-peer payments, for instance in Gmail.[1]

As of 2016, it is currently available in the United States, UK, Poland, Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong and New Zealand.[6] Upon its UK launch Android Pay supported MasterCard and Visa credit and debit cards from many of the UK’s major financial institutions — including Bank of Scotland, First Direct, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, M&S Bank, MBNA and Nationwide Building Society — "with new banks being added all the time" according to Google. Natwest, RBS and Ulster Bank will launch on September 14th. On September 8, 2016 it was reported that UK banks TSB and Santander will participate "over the coming weeks".[7] Android Pay was launched in Singapore on 28 June 2016,[8] and in Australia on 14 July 2016.[9][10]

In 2016, Google began a public trial in Silicon Valley of a related mobile app called Hands Free. In this system, the customer does not need to present a phone or card. Instead, a customer announces they wish to "pay with Google" and give their initials to the cashier, who verifies their identity with a photo previously uploaded to the system. The customer's phone will only authorize payment if its geographic location system indicates it is near a participating store.[11][12]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Google introduces Android Pay, a replacement for its wallet app on mobile". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  2. Google Developers (2015). "Fingerprint and payments APIs (100 Days of Google Dev)". Google. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  3. "Google introduces Android Pay, a replacement for its wallet app on mobile". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  4. Tilenius, Stephanie (2011). "Google Wallet Product Launch". Google. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  5. Welch, Chris (March 5, 2015). "Softcard is shutting down on March 31st, and Google Wallet will replace it". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  6. "Participating banks and supported cards for Android Pay". Android Pay Help. Google. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  7. Sebastian (8 September 2016). "Android Pay now available in Google Chrome, more Banks supported". Retrieved 2016-09-09.
  8. Android (June 27, 2016). "#AndroidPay is now available in Singapore. Download from +Google Play, add your card and tap to pay at thousands of stores islandwide.".
  9. Bhat, Pali (May 18, 2016). "Android Pay now in the UK, new countries on the way". Android Official Blog. UK: Google. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  10. El Khoury, Rita (December 16, 2015). "[900 Dollarydoos] Android Pay Is Coming To Australia In 2016". Android Police.
  11. Lynley, Matthew (2 March 2016). "Google experiments with a way to pay without taking out your phone". AOL.
  12. Bhat, Pali (March 2, 2016). "Testing, Testing - One, Two, Hands Free". Google Commerce official blog. Google. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
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