Google plans to release a new set of Android-based payment developer tools at its I/O conference in May, according to a report by the tech news site Ars Technica.

The new API will be called Android Pay, and is separate from the Google Wallet mobile and online payment system, according to the report. It will allow merchants to build in-store and in-app payments for third party applications and will support Host Card Emulation, a more flexible carrier-agnostic version of NFC that Google added to its operating system in 2013, the article states.

Google has been making a number of moves as it rearranges its payments strategy to compete with Apple Pay and any competition that comes from Samsung's purchase of LoopPay.

Google recently struck a deal with the mobile operators behind the Softcard mobile wallet (T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and AT&T) to acquire technology and intellectual property from the venture. The carriers will preload Google Wallet on Android handsets.

The Softcard deal comes amid rumors that the mobile operators are backing away from the troubled initiative.

Google's employees have also been testing a cloud-based payment system called Plaso.

Consumers would be able to link their Google Wallet credentials to Android Pay, according to Ars Technica, which cited anonymous sources. Google would not comment on the Ars Technica report.

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