Android Pay, Google's on-device payment service, was announced at Google I/O 2015 and officially launched on September 10, 2015.
Android Pay works on all NFC-enabled Android smartphones running Android 4.4 and above. At this time, Android Pay is limited to users in the US, and Google has not detailed expansion plans just yet. Google has already teamed up with the major credit card companies in the US — American Express, Visa, Mastercard and Discover — to ensure support at launch. Supported banks include PNC, USAA, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and more.
There are currently over one million locations that will accept Android Pay as a tap-to-pay method. Some of the initial locations include Panera Bread, Office Depot, Toys R Us, GameStop and many other retail locations. Google is working with new vendors and partners to continue to expand where the payment is accepted.
As for security, Google will not be sending your actual credit or debit card number with the payment, and instead it uses a virtual account number. Once the transaction is completed, you will receive a confirmation that shows when and where the transaction took place, keeping you safe and secure.
Google plans to enable mobile checkout options later this year, which would allow you to use the payment service within your favorite apps. This would give you the option to pay for food, clothes and more with the cards in your Android Pay app. Additionally, the service will be gaining support for loyalty cards and special offers in the coming months.
Android Pay will come pre-installed on future Android smartphones from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon.