Mobile payments seem to be the big thing this year. Starting with Apple announcing Apple Pay last fall and rolling it out earlier this year. Then there was Samsung Pay which was announced at Unpacked in March and is rolling out this month – already available in South Korea. Google announced Android Pay, their second stab at mobile payments, at Google I/O this past May. Google has yet to announce when Android Pay will be launching, but we've seen many leaks from different retailers about when it'll be available.
The latest leak comes from Verizon Wireless, which states that Google is launching Android Pay on September 16th, that's less than two weeks away. The leak in question is a memo to Verizon employees that Phandroid got their hands on. While this memo is likely legit, things can happen. Google could change the launch date for a variety of reasons, including the fact that Android Pay isn't quite ready. Remember that this is a leak and not confirmation from Google, but we would expect Android Pay to launch with the new Nexus devices – which are rumored for September 29th – or shortly before. And the September 16th time-frame fits that perfectly.
It's important to note that Google Play Services 8.1 which has already begun rolling out, has all the necessary components for Android Pay, of course your phone will need to have NFC. While both Android Pay and Apple Pay need NFC to work, Samsung went the route of not needing NFC. Which means their service will work with merchants who have not updated their terminals yet. It's a great idea, however, Samsung Pay is limited to Samsung devices still. Hopefully it'll open up in the future, but for now it's limited to their devices. But that isn't a small number of devices, considering Samsung is still king when it comes to market share with Android.
Google has tried the whole mobile payments thing before, and failed pretty badly, actually. Hopefully Android Pay won't turn into Google Wallet 2.0, and almost no one using it. Just imagine, you could run out to the store and leave your wallet at home, just bringing your phone, and pay for the groceries you needed to pick up for dinner. Now that's the future.