Earlier today during I/O ’15 Google announced Android Pay as an upcoming feature and an integral part of Android M. While Android Pay will work at its best on devices running Android M – which may, or may not be called Milkshake when it launches this Fall – it will work on devices running Android 4.4 KitKat and above. This is a smart move on Google’s part and means that the vast majority of users will be able to experience Android Pay. Despite the fact that Android Pay didn’t get all that much floor time during today’s keynote, it was good to see so many partners onboard with the new platform, and MasterCard was one of them.
MasterCard are clearly quite happy to support the new platform from Google, and have already opened up a website to the public, offering them some easily digested information as well as a link to a required app from the Google Play Store. MasterCard’s involvement with Android Pay is an extension of their contactless initiative and will support MasterCard credit, debit, prepaid and small business cards without any hiccups. In a press release today, MasterCard is keen to point that any transcation completed with Android Pay will offer the “same security, benefits and guarantees as any MasterCard transaction”. This is down to the fact that Google servers never know your card number and MasterCard is essentially integrating a service they already offer into a service from Google.
Pali Bhat, Director of Product Management said that “Mobile payments is big a priority for Google, so we’ve been working with major networks like MasterCard to help provide a seamless experience”. With Apple Pay having launched earlier this year, as well as on the Apple Watch, Google have some catching up to do, and after the failure that was Google Wallet, they’ll have to sign up more major names like MasterCard in order to keep momentum going. We’re live from I/O and if you haven’t checked out the rest of our coverage already you can do so here.