Android Pay is a digital wallet platform developed by Google to power in-app and tap-to-pay purchases on mobile devices, enabling users to make payments with Android phones, tablets or smartwatch. Android Pay uses near field communication (NFC) to transmit card information facilitating funds transfer to the retailer. It replaces the credit card or debit card card chip and PIN or magnetic stripe transaction at point-of-sale terminals by allowing the user to upload these in the Android Pay wallet. It is similar to contactless payments already used in many countries, with the addition of two-factor authentication. The service lets Android devices wirelessly communicate with point of sale systems using a near field communication (NFC) antenna, host-based card emulation (HCE), and Android's security.
Android Pay takes advantage of physical authentications such as fingerprint ID where available. On devices without fingerprint ID, Android Pay is activated with a passcode. When the user makes a payment to a merchant, Android Pay does not send the credit or debit card number with the payment. Instead it generates a virtual account number representing the user's account information. This service keeps customer payment information private, sending a one-time security code instead of the card or user details.
Users can add payment cards to the service by taking a photo of the card, or by entering the card information manually. To pay at points of sale, users hold their authenticated device to the point of sale system. The service has smart-authentication, allowing the system to detect when the device is considered secure (for instance if unlocked in the last five minutes) and challenge if necessary for unlock information. Spring CEO Alan Tisch said Android Pay improves mobile shopping business by supporting a "buy button" powered by Android Pay integrated within vendor's creative design.
, it is currently available in the United States, Canada, Brazil, UK, Ireland, Spain, Belgium, Poland, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Russia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Upon its UK launch Android Pay supported MasterCard and Visa credit and debit cards from many of the UK’s major financial institutions — including Bank of Scotland, First Direct, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, M&S Bank, MBNA and Nationwide Building Society — "with new banks being added all the time" according to Google. Natwest, RBS and Ulster Bank will launch on September 14. On September 8, 2016 it was reported that UK banks TSB and Santander will participate "over the coming weeks". Android Pay was launched in Singapore on 28 June 2016, and in Australia on 14 July 2016. Android Pay launched in the Republic of Ireland on December 7, 2016 and is initially available to customers of AIB and KBC. The service works with both credit and debit cards.
In 2016, Google began a public trial in Silicon Valley of a related mobile app called Hands Free. In this system, the customer does not need to present a phone or card. Instead, a customer announces they wish to "pay with Google" and give their initials to the cashier, who verifies their identity with a photo previously uploaded to the system. The customer's phone will only authorize payment if its geographic location system indicates it is near a participating store.
On 18 September 2017, Google launched an UPI-based app Google Tez in India and clarified that they don't have any immediate plan to launch Android Pay in India.
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