Technology Products

Android Pay: An Early Read on the Latest in Mobile Payments

As we’ve previously discussedfairly extensively – 2015 has proven to be the year of mobile payments. Although it will still take some time for both consumers and merchants to fully adopt paying via a mobile device, there have been great strides in the past year by tech giants like Apple, Google and Samsung to make this technology mainstream.It’s been a month since Google’s launch of Android Pay. The early read is positive, and traction will only get stronger by year end.

The Technology

Like Apple Pay, Android Pay relies on NFC (Near Field Communication) technology, which is a form of short-range wireless communication. With any NFC-enabled terminal, customers can pay by simply tapping, or holding their mobile device within a few inches of the terminal and completing a payment with either their fingerprint or a PIN.Early reports show that Android Pay has had a successful first month on the market, although many merchants seem to be unaware of exactly how the technology worked. Each month, thousands of merchants are upgrading or replacing their existing hardware to EMV-compliant, NFC-enabled terminals. This shift, driven mostly by the U.S. adoption of EMV standards, will continue to increase the number of merchants accepting NFC payments and boost merchant awareness of NFC technology.

Accepting Payments

Accepting NFC payments like Android Pay shouldn’t be much different than normal transactions – if anything, it should be easier. Customers can easily load supported credit or debit cards onto their mobile device by using the camera on the device. Once the card is loaded, they will need to verify the card via text message or email and they are ready to start making transactions. Accepting NFC payments will vary based on the merchant hardware, but will usually require the cashier to select “credit” as the payment type which will trigger the NFC reader. The customer will then place their mobile device directly over the terminal and complete the transaction as previously described. Each payment is encrypted and utilizes a virtual account number so the actual card number is never surfaced. This encryption, combined with the fingerprint scan/PIN, ensures each transaction is secure and valuable customer data cannot be accessed or exploited.

Post Purchase Experience

Once the transaction is completed the customer will receive a push notification notifying them of the transaction. This notification will happen whether Android pay was used to complete the transaction or if the card itself was used, which means a user will be alerted instantly if a fraudulent charge occurs. Lastly, once the transaction has been fully posted, the customer will be able to find additional information about the merchant, date of the transaction, and the last four digits of the digital account number assigned to the card. It's fair to say that the first month of Android Pay has been a success. As merchants continue to adopt the latest payment technology, tools like Android Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay will become commonplace among consumers across the country.

Have you tested any of the latest mobile payment tools? If so, let tell us about your experiences in the comments below!