Apple Pay officially launches on Monday, get ready to start using Google Wallet in a lot more places


Apple Pay iPad event 2014

During this morning’s iPad event, Apple took a minute to discuss the progress they’ve made with Apple Pay (coming soon to iOS 8). I know what you’re thinking — “What does this have to do with Android?” Stay with me. Officially launching this Monday, October 20th, for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Apple Pay ushers in the age of NFC-based mobile payments. You know, that little hardware feature we’ve had in countless Android devices for ages now. And that’s just it. Tap-to-pay systems aren’t exclusive to just the iPhone, Android users can finally get in on the fun as well whatever your preferred mobile wallet may be (we aren’t tied down to one).

Apple said that since they announced the feature last month, more than 500 new banks are now supporting Apple Pay and even more retailers ranging from Walgreens, Macy’s, McDonald’s and more (over 220,000 and growing). I’ve actually experienced this transition firsthand while getting my haircut at a local barber shop. It’s old run down mom n’ pops join, but recently when I went to pay using my credit card, the little old lady busted out a shiny new Tap-to-Pay credit card machine from under the counter. When I asked her why the new hardware, she told me “Because the iPhone.” I’ll take it.

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. TBH…I don’t think it’s going to change that much.

  2. This article is sad, but we all know that iSheep wouldn’t be sheep if they didn’t move in herds. To change consumer behavior, you need people to move in herds.

    1. Which is why Google actually messed up. Google should have made every single high end phone support NFC. The sad part of choice is that there is no standard. You can’t get mad at Apple for using their fanbase to their advantage. They saw what Android did wrong and improved.

      Mobile payments would have not taken off in 10 years if Apple still didn’t incorporate it. Android has too many devices that are not unified, so you’d confuse the average consumer.

      1. I think it was the carriers that screwed it up, by trying to shut down Google Wallet and any other NFC payment system in order to implement ISIS (or whatever other names carriers had for their own platform).

        If every phone could get Google Wallet installed without rooting/workarounds, then people would have been more inclined to use NFC. In the end, Google couldn’t force carriers to allow google wallet or get their own NFC payment systems down, so NFC wasn’t viewed as a ‘must have feature’ to buyers.

        While carriers maintain their restrictions, it’ll continue to hurt adoption on Android’s side of things. But Apple’s push will bring a whole wave of retailers to put tap&pay in people’s faces -> which is a huge boost to get people to view NFC as a big value-add now.

        1. That too. I think it was a combination of carriers fightiing it and some makers not wanting to put it on their device for costs sake.

          I think the issues is that Google didn’t have ammunition like Apple to force the carriers to stay out of their business. I’m sure this had to be an agreement put into place beforehand. Apple could threaten not selling their phones if they tried to put their hands in.

          1. Very true. Apple went an extra step too: The mechanics of Apple Pay are different than ISIS/GoogleWallet/etc, which allows them to avoid the carrier-warfare a bit easier.

            All a big boost for NFC payment adoption, which is good for everyone!

          2. Exactly. Apple’s going to need Android users help to, which is a win-win scenario for everybody.

  3. If only I could use tap to pay on my Note 3.

    1. lol, yea i never could get it to work right on the note 3. got a oneplus last week and it works like a charm! Very happy with oneplus :)

      1. Carrier killed the ability for it to work on their phone. That’s been my issue.

    2. This is why ApplePay just might force everyone to use NFC. Some people keep saying ”oh, but Android had it before”. For some devices, had. Like the Note 3. Even though I used my Note 3 @ McDonalds with ISIS (before the name change) it was severely limited.

    3. Go to Sprint and you could. That’s Verizon’s fault, not Samsung’s. Yeah yeah, I know… Sprint sucks. Except when it doesn’t.

      1. I’m on TMO but yeah, I live in Sprint’s home town and service here is horrible. Used to have them, it was bad enough that I will never go back.

        1. Can’t really argue that. I get good voice on Sprint and so so data, but it’s cheap, and I don’t have to upgrade for a while because I have a good enough phone, so I’m sticking. (And yeah, my phone has GW and I use it… In fact, I used it a lunch today)

  4. I agree. It sucks that it takes the iPhone to change the hearts of business but if it lets me use Tap ad Pay more, I’m in.

  5. Problem was carriers locking down NFC payments for “Soft Card” to get implemented. There were literally a couple of devices that supported official support for NFC payments on the Android side. It makes me chuckle (and burn on the inside) when people tell me, well i can pay with my cell phone using the new iPhone 6. I just smile and nod.

    1. You had to be a supported ISIS/SoftCard device, not rooted and on a post paid account for it to work haha, no thanks! Now with KitKat, you don’t need the secure element, you use HCE for NFC payments

    2. To be fair, NFC wasn’t a feature that Google required. There are Android devices released and being released this year that don’t have NFC. It’s a bit different.

      1. Google doesn’t “require” a lot of features… it is just that android has supported it for a LONG time

        1. But like I said, that’s the problem. For example, if McDonald’s tried testing a new pumpkin spice late in certain markets..but Burger King made ALL of their stores carry it, you would see a lot more Pumkin Spice lattes from BK. Or to make it more like what’s going on now. Imagine McDonalds was slow for the roll out because certain McDs had to be built for the PSL machine.. But BK has less stores but can build newer ones faster with the PSL machines. Android is an OS but it needs the hardware to support it.

          1. Except google isn’t in charge of the OEM’s… google is in charge of nexus and all of them have had NFC. You’re talking apples and oranges though because Apple not only does the software, they manufacture their own devices

          2. But isn’t the argument usually ”oh, Android had this first” when that shouldn’t be the argument but ”my Galaxy had this first”. The fact is that either way mobile payments were screwed on Android before they began because of too many hands being in the pot.

          3. Nope, the argument is still Android had it first because android had the support for NFC and implementation of NFC. My android payments have worked fine ever since google discarded verizon’s isis and created google wallet. Besides, there is a lot more functionality behind nfc than mobile payments

          4. But this is in regards to mobile payments. We’re not talking about any other use EXCEPT mobile payments. ApplePay is ONLY for mobile payments and will perhaps be the best implementation

            This article talks about how it will help Android owners. But really, it’s only going to help the mom and dad who got the $1 Android device that finds out 6 months later that they can make mobile payments after their friends do.

            I own a 6 Plus and I’m happy about this. But I first used mobile payments at a 7-11 with my Sprint Nexus S. But not a lot of places invested in NFC at the time because there was no need to. I was a nerd who got $10 free from Google to use Wallet, but there was a dearth of places because Google didn’t partner with a lot of places.

            I’m not sure what this obsession with ”first” is anyways. Apple implemented a GUI (VIA Xerox) BEFORE Microsoft…but who almost went bankrupt in the late-mid 90s?

            Anyone can be first, but first doesn’t mean anything. The Galaxy Gear (the first one) is no where near as great as the Moto360 even though it was ”first”.

          5. Exactly, what is Apple’s obsession with being the “first” to offer mobile payment. Apple is always claiming to be the first when they’re not. That is my main problem

          6. Seconded.

          7. What Android phone to current date does not have NFC and how many people actually own it?

          8. My EVO had it 2 years ago, and that’s how long I’ve been using Google Wallet Tap & Pay. This wasn’t a phone issue, this was a carrier issue. Sprint was on board. Verizon, T-Mo, and AT&T weren’t. They blocked it. The carriers screwed it, not Android. Get your facts straight please.

    3. The reason the carriers locked down the GW was its use of the secure element of the phone. Then GW was implemented using the HCE as a end around to the carrier. At some point, Softcard will fold into another payment system just to be relevant.

  6. If this is true then I am so excited lol I was worried there would be some weird Apple only bs to stop me from mobile lovin payments

    1. Don’t doubt they didn’t try. I’m sure the banks pressured this move, but right now all apple sees is $$$ because this has to be an insane new revenue source for them (gotta pay for those expensive new beats headphones they just bought)

  7. walgreens was already the most prominent NFC payment location in my area – i wonder if the systems previously deplyed (with google wallet logos on them no less!) will be Aplpe Pay compatible too?

    like others, my primary fear was that apple would somehow prevent any other NFC payment system from working on the same terminals. sounds like this isn’t the case after all. how very un-Apple of them :)

  8. I’ll take it. Whipping my wallet out gets annoying anyway.

  9. Panera in my area upgraded their POS with new Verifone devices and now accept my Google wallet.

    Target upgraded to same machines, BUT did not enable NFC.

    Losers! Luckily should be a software add on so Target can get with the game.

  10. It used to irritate me when people would claim the iPhone is the most superior smartphone on the market, but then be unable to back that up with any significant reasons whatsoever. However, iPhone users do drive changes like the one mentioned in the article, but my god, could you imagine if they all suddenly switched to Android? Talking about it like they invented it? Some do migrate over to the green side and I think a lot of them stay but they don’t seem as vocal about it as iPhone users. I’m happy with this arrangement, I like the exclusivity. In the meantime, as long as businesses keep moving mountains to keep iPhone users happy, I’m happy to reap the rewards of the mass infrastructure upgrades quietly but with a smug grin.

    1. If you were a business owner, I’m sure you’d do the same too. iPhone users do help user in mass changes. Could it backfire in the future, sure? But remember the main advantage of Android is choice, but many features on a Note 4 today won’t end up on a lower-end Android device until a few years from now. You can see why millions purchasing an iPhone would instantly jump on a feature.

      1. Iphone reminds me of Beats headphones. It is a popular home name. The average consumer (and I will argue this to death) does not know what is under the hood of their phone. Many of these Android phones since around 2 years ago have had NFC.

        1. What’s under the hood only matters when performance is bad.

  11. How is it that the carriers didn’t push back when Apple came out with their mobile payment solution the same way they did with Google? Does Apple also use some sort of Host Card Emulation for secure element access? I would be might be pissed if they don’t, because that would mean that Apple somehow manages to squeeze the daylights out of the old businesses while Google doesn’t have that capability.

    1. Umm…Apple executed it differently. And the fact that all the devices using ApplePay will have TouchID and Apple can’t see what you bought…makes in more inticing. Plus, Google doesn’t have 10 million+ devices at once having this feature. With the preorders of China included, we could be seeing 30 million+ iPhones with Applepay in the wild.

      1. Google doesn’t have 10 million devices with Google Wallet, they actually have more than 500 million devices with this feature… Google Wallet is available for Android 4.0 and later.

        1. Do you mean google wallet or NFC? Also, my Note 3 can’t use GWallet’s NFC features. And Google Wallet is on iPhone too..

          1. Why can’t your Note 3 use it when mine and I am sure everyone else’s can/could? Download Google Wallet and turn NFC on (Not to be confused with S-Beam as you also have that if you have a Note 3) Hell, the Tmobile Galaxy S II had NFC. This feature has been around for a couple years now if I am not mistaken. It was being used more in the European market and took awhile to come to the states.

          2. Note 3 uses an NXP chipset for NFC, which for some reason doesn’t support the software-based secure element (HCE) in KitKat.

            Any KitKat running, non-NXP chipset Android has Tap-to-Pay and can run Google Wallet.

          3. So this means that the Note 3 *won’t be able to take advantage of this windfall of retailers starting to support tap-to-pay scenarios? Or will it, but just not with the HCE that you mention?

          4. It can still use Softcard through the special SIM card, but no HCE.

            I’m not sure if it’s a matter of NXP missing something in their drivers that can be fixed, or if the NXP chips are missing a piece of functionality required for HCE.

            Ultimately, it means the Note 3 won’t be able to use Tap-to-Pay at the app level if the app requires HCE support.

          5. my note2 has a separate antenna in the back cover for NFC.

          6. Both. Every device that has NFC and Android 4.0 or later, can download Google Wallet from the Play Store and use it.

  12. Been waiting for Google Wallet to be available in the UK for so long that iPhones will be able to pay with phones first o.O

  13. I don’t have anything at all to say. Just seeing if linkgx1 is so very obsessed with responding to every single comment that they will respond to this one too.

    1. I’m a very powerful person. I just made you speak about my awesomeness.

      1. You’re a very weak person who can’t control their urge to try to make themselves feel like they are sharing some great wisdom with the world even though it isn’t actually great or wisdom.

  14. I thought tap to pay was not available for non-nexus devices…

    1. It’s been available for just about every android device (with NFC) for a loooong time now. Lol

      1. It’s a workaround in 4.4 that lets them do software-based secure elements. Any 4.4-based phone that doesn’t use one particular brand of NFC chipset can do Tap-to-Pay.

        Before that there was a number of Sprint phones that worked, in addition to the Nexuses.

    2. It works great on my EVO 4G LTE. And that phone’s 2 years old now.

  15. So apple pays and android reaps the benefits. Makes sense honestly. Even tho we had the tech for two years now, apple needed to pay to make it happen to all.

    And I’m not in favor of apple, but to use the money and leverage to make it happen, it benefits us all.

    1. As long as they never find a way to make it iphony only.

    2. Actually apple took a technology that google just kinda threw out their to the sharks and hoped someone would make it work. Apple actually curated a system and partners and in the process gets 15 cents for every $100 dollars spent so no apple ddidn’tpay they tookan innovative technology and made it pay them! Those guys in Cupertino are so F’n smart why anyone counts them down and out is beyond me!

      1. If that’s what you need to believe to sleep better at night, you go right ahead

      2. I wouldn’t jump to the conclusion that they were ‘smart’ but it was about timing. Think about it, this technology existed in the galaxy nexus first. Android didn’t take off publicly until the Galaxy S4 was released. If Google waited until then, then it might have stuck. Also remember that carriers wanted to use ISIS as their payment method, which further caused complications.
        But like I said, everyone benefits from this. They can call it whatever they want, if my NFC payment works on my android phone, I don’t care who made the tech to do it.
        Keep in mind tho, even tho Apples timing was good to start Apple Pay, its also bad timing when it comes to privacy and security. For all we know, this could cause more problems then good.

        if the iSheep are so desperate to load up every card on their phone just to wave it magically to get coffee or McDonalds and show off how awesome they are, good for them. Yes it’s ‘magical’ but also 3 years late. Everyone, including the first NFC users already know about this, but don’t make it a huge F’in deal as to not look like attention whores. Want proof? Look at the Sprint commercial with the ladies screaming about the iPhone. Perfect example of the type of people that will become the annoying cogs of the iSheeple birthing machine.

        1. Actually, the Nexus S had NFC… If you want to pick nits

    3. You can blame 3 of the 4 carriers for the stalling of Google Wallet. Sprint was the only one that let it happen with no bitching. I don’t think you can even use it today on Verizon because they’re funding ISIS. (Terrorist group or shitty competition for Google Wallet… you decide)

  16. So we know tap ‘n pay is not going to exhibit any vulnerability?
    Just like all those selfies that were safe in the cloud?

    1. their system and ours is reliant on the bank not the device so we are (and they are) good there :)
      According to Steve Gibson

    2. It may well be safer than using an actual credit card… see Target, Home Depot, and various other retailers who had their payment systems hacked. With tap to pay, the retailer never sees your real card number.

    3. I’ve had my magnetic card skimmed twice this year, and have had to go through the pain of updating all of my CC numbers online AND have had to get my bank to refund various amounts of cash. Please STFU about Tap & Pay until you understand the technology. #encryptedsignalbetterthanmagneticstrips

  17. a few weeks ago on our way back from new mexico we had an ice cream jones and stopped in a braum’s.

    they had a wifi terminal so i paid with my phone.

    the kid who took care of us just got done buying a galaxy s-4 and didn’t have a clue about google wallet.

    i showed him the app and he was up and running before we left the store.

    all the iphone workers were still clueless.

    right now, here in rural tennessee the nearest terminal is 20 miles away and i figure the biggest deterrent for it becoming more ubiquitous is the vendor having broadband.

    i’m waiting to see connected fuel pumps.

    1. Judging by you calling the worker a kid it must have been quite a show to have someone who isn’t in his late teens or early 20’s showing someone else a great smartphone feature in public. Those poor iPhone workers, haha.

    2. The vendor having broadband? Are you saying they are still using dialup modems?

  18. “Because the iPhone…”

    1. You’re not funny.

      1. the website had a glitch and the bastard posted 4 times.

          1. I hope an admin deletes this whole post too…this is also a copy of the spammed post

  19. “Because the iPhone.”

    1. Well it’s not like google had set up all the proper business contracts with anybody to get it off the ground and in use.

    2. It’s all about execution. Apple got the details right.

      1. Well not really. They have done the same thing Google did. I have yet to see any new retailers that Google didn’t announce already. Every one mentioned in that article, I’ve used Google Wallet with years ago. Difference really is just “Apple”.

        Real benefit is now its both massive OS ecosystems and not just one. That is what will push other retailers on board.

      2. And what details would those be?

      3. When getting the ‘details’ right goes wrong.

        Double-charged by Apple Pay…:

  20. And why anyone wants to use miserably failed Google wallet ? Support Apple get it going right so we human have one good contact-less payment technology.

    1. So… Google = Fail and Apple = Magic?

      Can you tell me why when you get finished fellating Job’s bloated corpse?

    2. Please explain how Google Wallet failed in any way besides limited retailers supporting it. The chip and pin credit card rollout that’s coming soon is getting new pay point hardware that also supports NFC into retailer’s hands anyway so you can’t even credit Apple for that despite what one little old lady told the author of this article.

    3. The true cost of Apple Pay. It’s not priceless.

      Double-charged by Apple Pay…:

  21. All of the stores you mentioned already support Google Wallet.

  22. “When I asked her why the new hardware, she told me “Because the iPhone.””

    While that might be the reasoning behind a few cases, for the most part it probably won’t be. The most common reason for the new hardware is going to be the pending chip and pin credit card rollout. Credit card companies have already said any fraud that could have been prevented by using chip and pin will be on the business owner to pay for, so it’s in their best interest to update. If they’re updating for that, most are going to end up with terminals that accommodate NFC payments anyway.

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