Google Inc (NASADAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) announced its new mobile payment service called Android Pay for all NFC-enabled Android devices powered by KitKat 4.4 or higher, on Thursday.
The search engine giant said Android Pay will be available on more than one million locations across the United States. Technology observers suggested that Google is trying to catch up with its peers in the growing mobile payments market.
Forrester Research estimated that the mobile payments market will increase from $67 billion this year to $142 billion by 2019. Google may be able capture a huge share in the mobile payments market since Android OS dominates the smartphone market worldwide with 82.8% share as of the second quarter of 2015 based on data from IDC.
Android Pay supports four major credit/debit card networks
With Android Pay, consumers can turn their mobile devices into digital wallet because the app supports credit and debits cards from the four major payment networks including American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa. The app also stores gift cards loyalty cards and special offers on consumers’ smartphones.
In a blog post, Pali Bhat, director of product management for Android Pay said, “We’ll be rolling out gradually over the next few days, and this is just the beginning. We will continue to add even more features, banks and store locations in the coming months, making it even easier to pay with your Android phone.
Android Pay offers extra layer of security
Google ensures that the personal and financial information of consumers are secure. The search engine giant said Android Pay is integrated with industry standard tokenization, which means it offers extra layer of security.
According to Google, Android Pay does not send the consumer’s credit card or debit card number with their pay. Instead, a virtual account number will be sent.
“As soon as you make a purchase, you’ll see a payment confirmation that shows where a given transaction happened, so it’s easy to catch any suspicious activity,” according to Bhat. He added that consumers can instantly lock their phone once it is lost or stolen by simply using Android Device Manager. They can change the password or even erase all of their personal information on the phone.