During the Day One keynote of Google I/O this year, Android Pay was officially announced. We had heard rumblings of this long before Google I/O, but it appears that Google needs Android Pay to succeed more than just to compete with Apple. Google has become a company that practically relies on people using the Internet. Sure, there are more and more people using Android without using Google services, but they all use Google somewhere down the line. Android Pay is much more about just competing with Apple Pay and yes, it's all about the future.
As Business Insider have noted, among many other analysts out there, right now 37 Million Americans make a mobile payment, but by 2019 this number will be somewhere in the region of 165 Million Americans. It's not just about getting back at Apple, or producing something that will allow them to compete with Samsung Pay, it's about the future. If there's a growing market in front of Google, they're the company that wants to get in on the new market, and with more and more people starting to turn to mobile payments, so is Google.
Android Pay is an interesting new addition from Google, as we all know Google Wallet was launched years ago. With Sprint and the Nexus S, Google tried to get mobile payments to take off, but as is often the case with Google they were a little ahead of the curve. Google Wallet languished on devices and was slowly pushed out by options provided by Verizon, AT&T and even Sprint themselves (who were curiously left out of the carriers that have signed up to Android Pay). Google Wallet became stale, and unsupported, but Android Pay is fresh, its naming makes sense and it's a different world, now. People are used to paying for things wirelessly using their debit and credit cards, and using a smartphone to pay just isn't that strange any more. Hopefully, Google can turn Android Pay into something successful and accessible to everyone over the coming year or so.