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Android Pay, not to be confused with Google Wallet—which is shifting to a largely peer-to-peer payment system—is Google’s answer to Apple Pay (and, sure, Samsung Pay too). It lets people store credit and debit card information on their phones and pay with little more than a tap.
Android Pay will work with American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa and will support the vast majority of major banks and credit unions that issue debit cards. The service will also store gift cards and loyalty cards, and it will present geotagged offers and savings while you’re in a store.
Like Apple Pay, Android Pay will use a tokenization process that transfers money for a transaction from a user’s credit card to a virtual account, adding an additional layer of security to the transaction.
Android Pay provides confirmation any time a transaction is completed, letting people easily monitor their account activity. Users can shut down a lost or stolen phone through the Android Device Manager to prevent any unauthorized purchases.
Android Pay will be available on NFC-enabled devices running running at least KitKat (Android 4.4). Existing Google Wallet users will have to download a new version of the app to access Android Pay, while those new to the mobile-payments game should find the app available for download through the Google Play Store. New devices will come with Android Pay pre-installed.
Photo via Google
AJ Dellinger is a seasoned technology writer whose work has appeared in Digital Trends, International Business Times, and Newsweek. In 2018, he joined Gizmodo as the nights and weekend editor.