On Monday during his keynote at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, Google’s senior vice president of Android, Sundar Pichai, announced a new mobile payments platform called Android Pay. Unlike it’s predecessor Google Wallet, Android Pay aims to succeed by making the core of mobile payments available to developers as an API rather than a native app. By making the service available for third party usage, Google is soliciting creative thinkers and engineers to find viable use cases for mobile payments without making any of their own assumptions.
By itself, Android Pay equates to one half of the service provided by Apple Pay. While it allows for external developers to enable payments, it isn’t a standalone app for managing credit card details. However, by pairing with the existing application Google Wallet, Google appears to have a suite of applications that provide a comparable foe to it’s Apple counterpart.
As with existing mobile payments solutions, Google’s system leverages existing near field communication (NFC) to send transaction details. In addition, it creates secure, one-time payment tokens that are transmitted to POS terminals for each transaction. This decreases the risks involved with potential signal interception as the tokens will quickly expire before they can be used maliciously.
Google has not announced a release timeline just yet, but speculation states that further details are to be revealed at Google’s annual I/O developers conference this coming May.