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Google's answer to Apple Pay now usable at stores with NFC support as well as select apps
Google announced today that Android Pay, its digital wallet platform for in-app and tap-to-pay purchases, can now be used to make purchases in several Android apps, including DoorDash, Instacart, and Lyft.
Launched this past fall, Android Pay is Google's answer to Apple Pay, storing your credit or debit card information directly on a mobile device for payment at checkout. Google says over a million locations across the country, including Bloomingdale's, McDonald's, and BJ's, now support Android Pay's "tap and pay" technology. This means those stores support the same NFC technology also used by Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.
The company is hoping to build off its momentum—and reach parity with Apple Pay—by extending Android Pay support from physical stores to apps as well.
It’s easy to see the value of this technology for both customers and merchants. For merchants, Android Pay and Apple Pay remove friction from the purchase process, making it more likely for customers to go ahead with whatever they’re buying. For customers, these services remove the pain of retyping a long credit card number and other information on a small screen every time they want to buy something.
Besides the ones named above, newly supported apps in Android Pay include shopping apps (Spring, JackThreads, Jet, Wish, Fancy, Vinted), parking apps (SpotHero, ParkWhiz, Luxe, ParkMe), OpenTable, Zumper, Hotel Tonight, Houzz, Turo, Handy, Prenticular Print, Dealflicks, and Rukkus.
To celebrate the launch (and to get users signing up), Google is offering special savings in these apps for a limited time. For example, they're offering $20 off a OpenTable reservation, $10 off a Lyft ride, $10 off a DoorDash order, and 30% off a Vinted order.
Several other apps, including Uber, were previously cited as early adopters of Android Pay, but that was before the service's in-app functionality went live. Now that Android Pay for apps is live, Uber is noticeably absent from the list of supported apps, though it will likely add support sometime in the next few months.
Besides Android Pay, acceptable payment methods in Lyft include major credit cards (American Express, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover), debit cards tied to a checking account, PayPal (iOS and Android), Apple Pay, and Google Wallet. For Android users, Android Pay will be the superior option versus Google Wallet, which is seen as more a peer-to-peer payment system.
While today’s launch is U.S.-only, Google says they’ll be taking Android Pay to Australia sometime in the first half of 2016. A couple commenters on the blog post announcement voiced disappointment in Google’s slighting of Canada, as there’s no word when Android Pay will be supported there.
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