Bio-metric authentication has been a hot topic in the mobile community for some time now. Well over a decade ago, Fujitsu was including fingerprint sensors with their top-tier feature phones in Japan. While HTC dabbled with it more recently, things really started rolling once Apple introduced Touch ID. Samsung was quick to release the Galaxy S5 with a swipe-based reader, and later Huawei also include the feature. This year’s Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge introduced a more inspired way of acquiring a fingerprint.
It seems that Google has taken notice in a big way, as announced today at I/O 2015 is news that when Android M releases later this year, fingerprint support will be included, and it’s going to be integrated into Android Pay. The technology builds on NFC and host card emulation, and will allow users to safely and simply pay in stores. Android Pay allows you to simply unlock your phone, place it on an NFC reader/terminal, and like magic the transaction has finished: there is no need to open an application.
Security is a big part of this project and thus no card information is shared with the merchant. Choice is important, and so you can choose from any number of possibilities: Google itself, your existing credit cards like Visa and MasterCard, or even with carrier-based payment options from providers like AT&T and Verizon.
Initially, 700,000 different stores in the US will accept Android Pay with presumably more in the future as Google negotiates new partnerships and the technology truly takes off. Partners include Best Buy, Gamestop, McDonalds, Whole Foods, and more. Apps such as Groupon and lyft and uber will also accept the payment option thus making life with more convenient than ever.
Android M, with its fingerprint support, will allow for more advanced authentication-based security. Simply touch the biometric sensor and the phone will begin the NFC exchange with the terminal. It would seem that unlocking the device itself may not even be necessary, although it’s possible that if the security settings are set to block any notifications from displaying while locked you may need to do just that.
New APIs will be made available for any interested developers to integrate fingerprint support into their apps, which will in turn, allow for instant in-app purchases without the need to sign in or type a password each time. This could potentially work well for those users with small children as an extra layer of security to prevent them from making unauthorized purchases even should they know your password.
Things are more interesting when we create them together. So we’ve approached Android Pay the same way we approach every other part of the Android family — partnering with the ecosystem — bringing together mobile carriers, payment networks, banks and retailers to deliver you choice and flexibility. And offering developers an open platform to collectively push mobile payments forward.Tap to pay in stores
With Android Pay, you can simply unlock your phone like you normally do, place it near a merchant’s contactless terminal, and you’re good to go. Android Pay does all the heavy lifting. You don’t even need to open an app—just tap and go. You’ll also see a payment confirmation and get transaction details right on your phone.
Also, with select retailers, your 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.
Tap to pay in apps Making an online purchase? The days of entering your credit card and shipping address each time you make a purchase online will be a thing of the past. Just select “Buy with Android Pay” and leave the rest to us; checkout is as fast as a tap.To make it easier for developers to add Android Pay to your favorite apps, we’ve designed our platform to work with any payment processor. And we’re partnering with top payments processors including Braintree, CyberSource, First Data, Stripe and Vantiv to make integration even easier.
The choice is yours With Android Pay you will be able to pay with your credit or debit card, across multiple Android devices, and at thousands of stores and apps that you already know and love. And by enabling bank apps to integrate with our platform, you’ll be able to add your credit and debit cards directly from bank apps for use with Android Pay.
It’s still early days, but we’re very excited and think that this type of open platform will help drive adoption in mobile payments.
Security is at the center of Android Pay
We know how important it is for you to keep your personal and financial information secure. Therefore, we’re partnering with all the major payment networks in the US including American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa to deliver industry standard security tokenization.
So when you shop at a store, Android Pay won’t send your actual credit or debit card number with your payment. Instead we’ll use a virtual account number to represent your account information — providing you with an extra layer of security. And if your phone is ever lost or stolen, simply use Android Device Manager to instantly lock your device from anywhere, secure it with a new password or even wipe it clean of your personal information.
Shop at your favorites
Android Pay will soon be accepted at over 700,000 store locations from your favorite brands across the US, and in over 1000 Android apps. And we’ll be adding more every day.
Android Pay will be available on Google Play for download soon. And when your bank integrates, you could also activate Android Pay directly from your bank app. We are also working with major US mobile carriers (AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon) to help ensure that when you buy a new Android phone, you can walk out the door ready to use Android Pay.
Look forward to sharing more in the coming months.
Posted by Pali Bhat, Director, Product Management