The expected launch of Android Pay mostly hit a false alarm last week, but a few signals support the obvious — that the mobile wallet reincarnation of Google Wallet should be right around the corner.
A version 8.1 update to the Google Play Services app includes a new choice under the “tap and pay” options, allowing users to select between Google Wallet and Android Pay, the Android Authority website reported.
The downside for users is, for the time being, they can't use it if they choose Android Pay. In addition, the option disappears if the user tries a second time, according to Android Authority.
The rumors of an imminent launch were fueled last week when the blog Android Police revealed an internal employee notice at McDonald's suggesting Android Pay would be launching on Aug. 26, a date which came and passed with no Android Pay sightings.
However, some technology sites reported that various merchant locations had signs near point of sale terminals proclaiming acceptance of Android Pay.
The Android Pay launch has been anticipated ever since Google announced it would operate as a platform for in-store and in-app payments for third-party applications, coming right on the heels of Google obtaining mobile wallet technology from the defunct Softcard Wallet.
The industry viewed that move as part of the process for Google to begin reinventing its own Google Wallet as part of the Android Pay process.
Both Android Pay and Samsung Pay are expected to be in place next month. Samsung Pay has already declared Sept. 28 as its national rollout date.
Both mobile payment ventures, as well as the yet-to-be-released CurrentC wallet from the Merchant Customer Exchange, are expected to jockey for position with Apple Pay, which has been in place and picking up momentum for nearly a year.