Android Pay Is Here
Google announced the roll-out of Android Pay, its mobile payment service for Android devices, about a month ago. But confusion still reigns among eager Android users. How, exactly, can one get Android Pay? What credit/debit cards can it support? And what happened to my Google Wallet app? Read on for answers...
What is Android Pay?
If you search the Google Play app store, you'll find both Android Pay, and a Google Wallet app, labeled “(New).” Some users have installed the new Wallet app, thinking it’s an update. Others thought it was the new Android Pay app. It’s neither. Existing Google Wallet users who install the New Google Wallet app end up with two Google Wallet apps on their phones, and they are very different.
The New Google Wallet app does not support credit cards or gift cards. It only allows you to send and receive cash via email and a linked debit card or bank account, or from your Google Wallet balance. It’s sort of a hybrid between Square Cash and Paypal.
The old Google Wallet app is still on your phone, and it still works. You can accept cash to your Google Wallet account, then spend it using your Google Wallet Mastercard, or transfer it to a linked debit card or bank account. You can send money to another Google Wallet user. The Android Pay app is being pushed out to existing Google Wallet users as an upgrade to Google Wallet. Presumably, that means the old Google Wallet will disappear.
But if you're like me, and you never had Google Wallet on your smartphone, the situation is much simpler. Just download the Android Pay app from the Play Store. You really don't need the Wallet app at all.
If you have a Google payment account, payment cards associated with it will be automatically added to your Android Pay app. Some of those cards may be issued by banks not yet supported by Android Pay.
American Express, Bank of America, Citi, Discover, Wells Fargo and a few others are playing nice with Android Pay. Chase Bank, which has announced a competing Chase Pay service, is absent from the list of participating institutions, and Capitol One is listed as “coming soon.” If your card is issued by a bank that's not yet supporting Android Pay, it can still be used, but there are a few caveats.
Using Android Pay
You can add new payment cards to Android Pay by snapping a picture of it, and then providing the security code. If your bank isn't participating, you won’t be able to add that card to Android Pay until Google and the card issuer decide to cooperate. At a retail store, just unlock your phone and wave it over the payment terminal. You can keep track of payments in the app. If you should lose your phone, there's no need to cancel all your cards. Use the Android Device Manager to lock your phone, set a new password, or remotely wipe it.
Google says that 1 million retail terminals can accept Android Pay right now, and more retailers will be coming aboard rapidly. Merchants accepting Android Pay include Walgreens, but not Walmart. You can pay at BJ's, but not Costco. McDonald's, but not Burger King. Office Depot and Staples are on board, but not Home Depot or Lowes.
I can’t think of a more confusing way to introduce two new apps and retire an old one. But the long-awaited Android Pay is here. Android Pay works with Android Kit Kat and more recent versions. Your phone must have NFC (Near Field Communications) capability, as all recent models do. Unlike Apple Pay, a fingerprint scanner is optional with Android Pay.
Android Pay has a long way to go. But at least it’s finally off the ground. How do you feel about using a digital wallet app? Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 30 Oct 2015
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Android Pay Is Here (Posted: 30 Oct 2015)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved