One of the big buzzwords at Google I/O this year was Android Pay – the electronic payment method that will be replacing the Google Wallet. Android Pay will been baked into the next generation Android OS, Android M…although, like Android L, nobody, outside of a few Google insiders, knows exactly what the delicious treat the letter ‘M’ will represent. Whatever it will mean – Milky Way, M&M or Mars – the important thing to remember is that Android Pay will be coming along with the new OS, although Google did say that any device running Android 4.4 KitKat and above will be able to use Android Pay.
In order for Android Pay to work or be accepted by the public, the banks, credit card companies and merchants must all be onboard. Earlier, we were told that American Express was onboard, as well as Visa and over 700,000 retailers that accept ‘touchless’ payments. Later, MasterCard made their own announcement of support and now we have Discover Card jumping on the Android Pay bandwagon…a wise move on their part, as once Android Pay takes off, it will change the way we pay for our purchases. Unlock your smartphone, open Android Pay, wave your device at the merchant’s terminal and away you go…with Android M, you will be able to use your fingerprint scanner or sensor to authorize the payment.
Heather Roche, vice president of rewards at Discover said, “Discover’s goal is to provide our customers the freedom, options and simplicity of making mobile payments with whatever method they choose. Adding Android Pay expands Discover’s ability to enhance the convenience and experience for its mobile users.” Pali Bhat, director of product management at Google, added, “Mobile payments is a big priority for Google so we’ve been working with major networks and issuers like Discover to help provide a seamless experience across a wide range of phones and stores. Android Pay will offer people further simplicity, security and choice when paying for things with their Android phones.”
What is truly important about the new Android Pay is that it uses a tokenization system when making your payments. This means that your actual credit card number is never transmitted over the internet, instead, a randomly generated ‘token’ takes the place of your credit card number and it is with that token that your payment is made. This will prevent those middle man schemes to steal your credit card numbers as well as other types of fraud.