We were hearing Android Pay would arrive September 16th, but Google did us one better: it’s available today! The company notes that the service will gradually roll out to everyone over the next few days, and it’ll be available on any carrier and on any NFC-enabled phone with Android 4.4 or higher.
Current Google Wallet users will see their app magically transform to Android Pay, while new users will see it in Google Play within the next few days. Android Pay will also come preinstalled on phones from Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile, though Sprint’s name was nowhere to be found in the announcement.
Android Pay works at over 1 million locations with Tap & Pay features, including:
- Coca Cola
- American Eagle Outfitters
- Babies R Us
- Toys R Us
- Rite Aide
- Sports Authority
- Office Depot, Office Max
- Jamba Juice
- Whole Foods
And works with all 4 major credit card vendors:
- American Express
Issued by many major banks:
- Bank of America
- Navy Federal Credit Union
- Region Bank
- US Bank
- Coming Soon: Citi, Wells Fargo and Capital One
Many more partners and banks will be added over the coming months, says Google, and it shan’t be long before everyone can get in on the Android Pay fun no matter which bank or card they have. Google’s use of a standard tokenization system means your credit card information is never transmitted. Instead, an automatically generated token/account number is used to give your transactions another layer of security. You’ll also be able to get notifications whenever a payment is made, so you can catch suspicious activity right when it happens.
Android Pay is more than just paying for your purchase with the simple tap of your phone, too. It can store loyalty cards, gift cards and automatically apply special offers and discounts that the retailer might have.
Google says the train doesn’t stop here for Android Pay, though we’ll have to wait for any further goodies to come along. Thankfully the company promises to keep us in the loop, with more announcements expected to be made in the months to come. Stay on the lookout for Android Pay so you can get going with it at your favorite stores as soon as possible!