Add another big player to the budding mobile payments game as Google has announced that its mobile payment platform, Android Pay, will begin rolling out in the US gradually over the next few days.
Pali Bhat, Director of Product Management for Android Pay, said Android Pay works with all NFC-enabled Android devices running KitKat 4.4 or later. The service supports credit and debit cards from American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa and can be used at more than a million locations across the country including American Eagle, GameStop, Macy’s, Petco, Rite Aid and Whole Foods, just to name a few.
Similar to other contactless payment options, Android Pay doesn’t expose your credit or debit card number during a transaction. Instead, it uses a virtual account number that Google says provides an extra layer of security. Anytime a purchase takes place, you will receive a payment confirmation which makes it easier to spot any suspicious activity before it gets out of hand.
In the event your phone is lost or stolen, you can use Android Device Manager to remotely lock it or even wipe it clean.
Bhat said Google plans to integrate Android Pay into apps later this year to expedite checkout. What’s more, select partners will soon allow you to load your loyalty cards and other special offers to Android Pay.
Existing Google Wallet users will have access to Android Pay via an update to the Wallet app. New users will be able to download the Android Pay app from Google Play in the coming days. Google also said it’ll come pre-installed on new NFC-enabled Android handsets from AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon.