Today is Google’s I/O 2015, the annual developers’ conference where Google decide to unveil some of their new products, services and technologies. Today we’ve seen a number of new technologies unveiled including Android Pay, a NFC-enabled service designed to give customers another way to pay for something other than using a plastic card or the more traditional method of notes and coins. Google have designed Android Pay as they do their other systems – as a partnership to the existing ecosystem, rather than trying to replace it. This means that Android Pay pulls together infrastructure from the mobile carriers, payment networks, banks and retailers in order to provide the customer with flexibility… and developers with an open platform for future growth. Android Pay is designed to be used with a merchant’s contactless terminal: unlock your device, tap the smartphone on the terminal (note that you don’t need to go into an application to use Android Pay). Once the transaction has completed, the customer sees payment confirmation on the device together with transaction details.
Google have also integrated Android Pay with a number of loyalty card schemes such that special offers are enabled at checkout – the example given is if a customer buys a Coca-Cola at a vending machine, the MyCokeRewards points are automatically applied. The process is designed to be simple for the customer and because Google’s systems are designed to integrate with and compliment existing infrastructure, it should be easy to set up. And this is where I am going to introduce Ingenico Group, a global leader in “seamless payments,” where the company has confirmed that its wireless terminals are ready to process Android Pay transactions as soon as the service goes live later in the summer. Better yet, Ingenico’s terminals will also support the loyalty card schemes via Near Field Communication, or NFC for short. The company has confirmed that almost all terminals in use by large and medium businesses in the US are NFC-enabled and will support Android Pay. The business went on to explain that smaller merchants using Ingenico Group solutions are now receiving NFC-enabled terminals. Greg Burch, Vice President of Mobility, Business Development & ISV Relationships for Ingenico Group, said this on the matter: “Android Pay was unveiled today at Google I/O 2015 and we expect it to quickly become a popular payment method for Android users. Ingenico Group strives to simplify payment for merchants and help them to accept multiple payment methods including new payment alternatives as soon as they’re made available. We are very happy that the majority of our merchant customers already have everything they need to accept Android Pay.”