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Android Pay Mobile Payment Services Goes Live in the U.S.

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Google is quite positive that this second attempt in the world of mobile payments is just what it needs to compete best with the likes of Apple and Samsung.

Android Pay is the search giant’s revamped mobile payment system, and it comes into the fold to compete with the likes of Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. Launched this past Thursday, Google has already struck up deals to offer the service in more than 1 million locations in the U.S. alone, among them Walgreens, Whole Foods and Macy’s.

It’s not the first time the term Android Pay is showing up. The service was first announced in May and according to Google, it will include storage of gift cards as well as loyalty cards. All four major payment networks in the U.S. that include Discover, American Express, MasterCard and Visa will be supported, be it a credit or debit card. The search giant also said that the app will be further revamped to work from within mobile applications.

Google Wallet receives a new version

As noted earlier, this is not the first time Google is attempting to the mobile payments world. Four years ago, the company launched a service known as Google Wallet. Even though this service is still available, it still finds it hard to survive in the current market as only a few retailers support it and at times it doesn’t work.

However, rather than replace the Google Wallet app with the new Android Pay app, Google has rolled out a new version of the former application. According to the Mountain View, California-based tech giant, this new version of Google Wallet will only focus on sending and receiving cash via Android smartphones.

Position of Android Pay in the market

Competition is what drives today’s innovation and success in general. In the mobile payment space, competition has been heating up in the recent past. Last year, Apple announced its Apple Pay service and a few days later, over 1 million debit cards were already active via this service. With other competing companies keen on the profits Apple was destined to reap from offering this service, they started moving in swiftly with similar services of their own.

Among such companies is Samsung, which just this March came in with a service known as Samsung Pay, which has been integrated into the new flagships. Before the revelation of Samsung Pay, there was news that Google had acquired the technology that is behind Softcard. PayPal is also another major online payment service provider that is really working hard on improving on its mobile payment services.

In the event that Android Pay turns out a success for Google, mobile payments could take a different turn and keep Google’s relevance within the expanding mobile market. According to eMarketer, smartphone payments via retailing stores will stand at $118 billion in 2018, which is a rather mind-boggling figure considering the $3.5 billion that was managed in 2014. As opposed to earlier claims that the Android Pay service will only be available on phones with specialized chips, Google has revealed that the service will be available on phones installed with Android 4.4 and above, with or without the NFC chip. An Android Pay app will soon be available for download via the Google Play Store for those with compatible devices.