Given that success, it’s perhaps inevitable that Google would launch a new, competitive e-payments platform, one reportedly built from the ground-up for developers.
According to Ars Technica, which drew its information from an anonymous source “close to the matter,” Google plans on introducing a new e-payments API at its annual I/O conference this summer. The platform, dubbed Android Pay, will work in stores and as a way for Android users to purchase digital goods via third-party apps.
For those who build and manage mobile apps for a living, this could be a big deal, given the millions of people around the world who use Android phones. The Ars Technica article suggested that developers will have the ability to leverage smartphones’ NFC (Near Field Communication) chips in conjunction with their apps and Android Pay, meaning (at least in theory) that a customer could use an Android app to pay for something in a store without needing to use cash or a card.
Android Pay supposedly won’t replace Google Wallet, Google’s current e-payments platform. Although Google Wallet has been available for four years, it suffers from a middling adoption rate. Can Android Pay do better? That depends on whether consumers embrace the platform—certainly there are enough Android devices to support a viable ecosystem. For mobile developers, Android Pay could also present some interesting opportunities.