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Report: Google to launch Android Pay at I/O
Google has been trying to push its mobile and online payment options over the past couple of years, but still hasn’t implemented a universal payment mechanism for Android users. However, that could be about to change this year, as sources are suggesting that Google will announce a new payment API, named Android Pay, at its I/O conference in May.
Unlike Google Wallet, the Android Pay API will be “built from the group up” for Android. It will apparently allow developers to easily integrate mobile payment options into their apps, which users can pay for through registered credit or debit cards. The aim seems to be to create a simple one-tap payment option for Android developers and customers. The API will be based on Google’s Host Card Emulation (HCE) technology, which is linked to your smartphone’s NFC chip.
Less than a week ago, we also heard similar rumors regarding a revamped Google Wallet service, to also be unveiled at I/O later this year. According to the report, Google is attempting to bring device manufacturers, carriers, banks and payment networks together to support its payment platform.
Interestingly, the source states that Android Pay and Google Wallet APIs will continue to co-exist side by side, but that Wallet will be supported by Android Pay. Google Wallet’s existing “Instant Buy API”, for example, already allows for app developers to implement a “Buy with Google” button, but this could be integrated to receive payments from both of Google’s services.
True or not, Google definitely appears to be stepping up its efforts in the mobile payments space this year. Third party developers, such as WePay, continue to integrate its APIs, Google is reportedly working on a Bluetooth based mobile payment service and also recently acquired Softcard (formerly Isis).