Slideshow 10 of Android Pay's Defining Features

Published
  • May 29 2015, 12:03pm EDT
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Android Pay is far more than a rebranding of Google Wallet. It's a reboot of Google's approach to mobile payments, picking the best of Google Wallet and Apple Pay while shedding the ideas that distract from each product's core focus. (Image: Bloomberg News)

Retailer Partnerships

Earlier mobile wallets advertised that they work at any NFC-equipped terminal, whether the retailer realized it or not. This led to communication issues that hindered adoption. This time around, Google is highlighting the active participant of many retailers, including Target, which will integrate Android Pay for in-app payments. (Image: Bloomberg News)

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Carrier Commitment

At Google Wallet's launch, it was supported by only one major U.S. carrier (Sprint) and blocked by the others. Even when Google redesigned its wallet technology to bypass the carrier restrictions, it still needed consumers to proactively download the app. Now, with an agreement that follows Google's purchase of technology from the carriers behind the failed Softcard wallet, it will see AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile support Android Pay as they sell new phones. (Pictured: Dave Burke, VP of engineering, Google)

Shedding Google Wallet's Dead Weight

Google Wallet's 2011 debut did not give it an early-mover advantage. Instead, it gave Google a very public lesson about what does and does not work in mobile payments. Now, with this experience behind it, Google is ready for a fresh start - without the baggage of its older Google Wallet brand or extraneous features like P2P payments. (Image: Bloomberg News)

Touching Up Security

Apple's Touch ID may be the most well-known fingerprint system in smartphones, but it is not alone. Samsung, Motorola and other Android handset makers also support fingerprint recognition on some devices, and Google is taking advantage of this technology by linking it to Android Pay for authentication.

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Apple-Like Simplicity

When Apple launched its Apple Pay wallet, it was so simple that it seemed almost bare-bones. There was no mention of location-based offers, P2P transfers or any of the other bells and whistles common in rival mobile wallets. Android Pay follows this example by focusing primarily on in-app and in-store payments. (Image: Bloomberg News)

Big on Banks

Android Pay is a sharp reversal of Google's approach to working with banks on Google Wallet. Google's original model required banks to jump through hoops to get into the app, and almost none did. With Android Pay, Google's the one going out of its way to get into banks' mobile apps. (Image: iStock)

Tied to Android, Not to an App

A perk of the older Google Wallet system was that once the user was authenticated, the wallet app didn't need to be on-screen to make a contactless payment. This feature lives on in Android Pay, which pervades the operating system and will tie into retailer apps as well. (Image: Bloomberg News)

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Competitive Pressure

Unlike Apple, which tightly controls which apps operate on its iPhone platform, Google must face the specter of competition on Android handsets. Google has already won the fight against the carriers' Softcard wallet, but Samsung's upcoming Samsung Pay is a looming threat. (Image: Bloomberg News)

The Battle for Loyalty

Android Pay's storage of loyalty cards looks very much like Apple's Passbook, establishing an even footing as both companies eye their next moves in loyalty and rewards. (Image: iStock)

Not the End

Android Pay is not meant to be the Google's final offering to the payments market. The company teased a "Hands Free" system shortly after its Android Pay presentation, with a payment process that seems to require little more than the consumer saying she'd like to pay with Google. Hands Free will begin testing in the San Francisco Bay Area this year, with McDonald's and Papa John's already signed on to support the technology. (Image: Bloomberg News)