Google developing API layer to support Android mobile payments
Google has announced at Mobile World Congress that it is currently developing a new mobile payment system called Android Pay that will compete with Apple Pay, according to a report by The Verge.
Speaking at the conference, Google SVP Sundar Pichai explained that Android Pay would not be a new product, but instead an “API layer” that allows third-party companies to support secure payments on Android devices via both online and physical storefronts.
“We are doing it in a way in which anybody else can build a payments service on top of Android,” said Pichai. “So, in places like China and Africa we hope that people will use Android Pay to build innovative services.”
Pichai did not provide any specific details about Android Pay, only that it would “start with NFC” and eventually integrate biometric sensors.
Based on this admission, Android Pay will likely work with fingerprint scanners such as ones currently integrated into Samsung’s Galaxy flagship smartphones.
He also said that Google Wallet would continue to operate as a separate service from Android Pay, despite operating on the same framework as Android Pay.
When asked whether Android Pay would compete with other mobile payments systems such as Samsung’s, Pichai said the two companies were on “slightly different timelines” and that they would “work closely [together] to see how we can align [with them].”
It is still unclear whether Android Pay will work for both developers and users, but the news of Android Pay confirms that Google is working to streamline the entire process of mobile payments both online and offline.