We’ve known for some time that Android Pay, Google’s own mobile payments system, was coming, though we assumed Android 6.0 Marshmallow would bring the new system. Fortunately, though, we no longer have to wait.
Google announced Android Pay today, with the company saying that it would start rollout today, some days ahead of the company’s own LG Nexus 2015 and Huawei Nexus smartphone announcement, the place where the mobile company would announce the new upgrade to its mobile operating system.
Android Pay will bring special offers to you on your mobile device, while storing loyalty and gift cards that prevent you from needing to bring “the plastic” with you everywhere you go. As of right now, mostly major banks are included in the Android Pay system, so you’ll need to belong to banks such as Wells Fargo, Citi Bank, PNC, Navy Federal Credit Union, Bank of America, American Express, Discover, USAA Bank, and Regions Bank. Wells Fargo and Citi Bank users will receive a rollout in the coming days, so these users need not worry about Android Pay compatibility.
As for where you can use Android Pay, Google has partnered with businesses such as Subway, Walgreens, ToysRUs, Whole Foods, Staples, Sports Authority, Rite-Aid, who said it would support Android Pay along with Apple Pay, Petco, Pepsi, Panera, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Macy’s, Jamba Juice, GameStop, Coca-Cola, Bloomingdale’s, BJ’s, BabiesRUs, American Eagle, and Aeropostale.
Android Pay will be available for all Android devices running Android 4.4 KitKat or higher, with Google providing industry standard tokenization that prevents your actual card number from being sent when you make payments with the service (but instead uses a virtual account number).
Google’s LG Nexus 2015 and Huawei Nexus will both use Android Pay when they are announced on September 29th, along with Android 6.0 Marshmallow.