This morning Google finally divulged details on their new contactless payments system – Android Pay. Billed as an infrastructure layer for developers to tie into, it’s aimed at making contactless payments more accessible for everyone. We’re here at Google I/O, so we naturally took it for a spin.
There were two demonstrations set up. The first, straight-up Tap-to-Pay system, involved the digital wallet and a loyalty app from Coke (Coke Reward allows you to tap your phone on the NFC-enabled vending machine and deduct points from your Coke Rewards account to redeem for a free coke). This means the app has the option to use Android Pay as an in-app payment system.
The apps live on your phone, but you don’t need to have them open to initiate payment – simply unlock your phone, tap and you’re done.
The second demonstration featured a custom-built app from Wish, an online shopping vendor. The option was to simply select your goods (in this case a T-Shirt or mini-Android figure), select a quantity and then just tap the ‘Android Pay’ button. It was simple and seamless.
So, we know, by now you’re all quite excited. Australians are amongst the most enthusiastic adopters of contactless payment systems in the world, and Samsung and Apple are both rolling out their own solutions. The bad news is that – just like Google Wallet before it – Google has no timeline to share on expansion of Android Pay outside of the US. It would be nice to see Google’s solution reach our shores, and we’ll certainly be continuing to ask the question over the coming months as the system rolls out in the US.