Google officially rolling out Android Pay starting today (Update: Grab the APK now)
Update: We told you we’d update the post as soon as the app is available. Well, technically it has started to hit devices, but in Google’s customary fashion, the rollout is a gradual one. For those that don’t like waiting, you can now grab the APK and manually load it on your device.
Keep in mind that the new Android Pay app completely replaces the Google Wallet app on your device and requires Pay Services 8.1.13 to operate. If you have an older version of Play services, Android Pay won’t work until you update.
After months of speculation regarding a possible release date, Google has now officially announced that Android Pay will begin rolling out starting today. With Android Pay, you’ll be able to pay with your Android smartphone at over one million locations across the United States. The service will be able to store your gift cards, loyalty cards and special offers right on your phone, too.
Google says Android Pay will be rolling out to users over the next few days, and more features, banks and store locations will be added to the service within the coming months. To use Android Pay, you’ll need to have an NFC-enabled Android smartphone running 4.4 KitKat or later. The service will work on any mobile carrier, as well. It can support credit and debit cards from American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa.
It should be noted that not all banks will be supported at the start. Google says credit and debit cards will work with some of the most popular banks and credit unions such as American Express, Bank of America, Discover, Navy Federal Credit Union, PNC, Regions Bank, USAA and U.S. Bank. Citi and Wells Fargo support will be rolling out in the next few days, and Capital One is coming soon, as well. Unfortunately, if your bank isn’t included on that list, you can’t use Android Pay when it launches. Google will however be adding more and more banks as time goes on.
So, where can you use Android Pay? Google says over one million retailers, restaurants and more are on board, but here’s a good look at some of the most popular businesses already accepting Android Pay:
Security is a big deal for Google as well, which is why Android Pay is supported by industry standard tokenization. What this means is that your actual credit or debit card number isn’t sent with your payment. Google will instead use a virtual account number that provides an extra layer of security. Android Pay also makes it easy to check for suspicious activity, as you’ll quickly be able to view a payment confirmation that shows where each transaction happened.
The company says more Android Pay information will be coming our way soon, so stay tuned to Android Authority for those upcoming announcements. Oh, and to clarify, Google Wallet users will be able to access Android Pay via an update to the older Wallet app in the Play Store. Just yesterday, Google rolled out a completely new Wallet app to the Play Store that puts the focus on transferring money to other users.
We’ll be sure to let you know once the application becomes available.