Android Pay is round two of mobile payments for Google. The first round was Google Wallet, which Google won’t say failed, but it basically did. Part of that reason was that three of the four US carriers blocked it from being pre-installed on devices sold in their stores. Because they were backing their own mobile payment solution in ISIS (which was later renamed to SoftCard. Thanks ISIS). At Google I/O this past summer, the search giant announced Android Pay. Which is an NFC-based mobile payment solution available to everyone on Android 4.4 and later. Of course, as long as you have NFC.
Today, Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google’s Senior VP of ads and commerce, shared some statistics of Android Pay at the Money 20/20 conference in Las Vegas. Now keep in mind that Android Pay did only launch last month. Ramaswamy says that “millions” of users have activated Android Pay and connected at least one card to the service. He also stated that 60% of those people never used Google Wallet. Which means more than half of those using Android Pay, or at least connecting a card to it, never used Google Wallet. That’s definitely a step in the right direction for Android Pay. However, the team is not satisfied with the number of users they have. And plan to not only use marking dollars to bring in more. But also a few new features.
According to Ramaswamy, they are looking to announce a new loyalty program for Android Pay. This will start with Coca-Cola. So users can buy a soda with their smartphone, they will get reward points to buy more Cokes. There are over 20,000 NFC-enabled Coca-Cola vending machines out there right now. For obvious reasons, marketers love this feature, and service. Because it keeps customers coming back. Imagine you buy a Coke, and you get reward points for half off of another Coke. You’re going to buy another one, aren’t you? That’s their line of thinking here.
Google is also working with Carriers, currently Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile, to train their employees to remind customers to use Android Pay when paying for things. Whether it be their groceries, dinner, or whatever it might be. Google has also said they are working with banks and other partners to help increase awareness for Android Pay. Arguably the biggest issue with Google Wallet. Most people didn’t know what it was.