Google Wallet Becomes Android Pay

Say good-bye to Google Wallet, and hello to Android Pay.

Almost four years after it first demoed Google Wallet, Google showed off the Google Wallet replacement, Android Pay, at the Google I/O developer’s event.

But while Google was one of the first developers to come up with a mobile wallet in 2011, Apple raised the bar when it launched Apple Pay in September.

“Android Pay raises the bar significantly by now offering more than just ‘tap to pay’ as they will also let you tap your loyalty cards, coupons, and gift cards as well,” said John Haro, CTO of mobile wallet marketing company Vibes. “A recent Forrester Research report found integrating loyalty program points and rewards into mobile wallet is consumers’ most requested feature, so this could be rocket fuel for mobile wallet adoption. Apple is sure to follow suit as consumers beg for this level of convenience with coupons and loyalty cards on the iPhone.”

Haro said Android Pay represents a complete refresh of their strategy, opting to “play nice” with major payment networks and banks and focus their energy and design thinking on improving the consumer’s experience.

With Android Pay, a user can simply unlock the phone, place it near a merchant’s contactless terminal, and Android Pay does all the heavy lifting. Google said on its blog that a used doesn’t even need to open an app to use Android Pay. The user will also see a payment confirmation and get transaction details right on his or her phone.

Also, with select retailers, loyalty programs and special offers will be automatically applied at checkout. For example, when you tap to buy a Coke at a vending machine, your MyCokeRewards will be automatically applied. With Android Pay the contactless terminal not only receives your payment info, but also your loyalty programs and offers.

Users making an online purchase with their Android phones can also just click “Buy with Android Pay” and complete a purchase instantly.

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