Android Pay Review & Rating

Google has announced that all its disparate payment services and apps—Android Pay, Google Wallet, Pay with Google—will at some point be combined into one overarching Google Pay service and set of apps. In the meantime, we have two apps on Android: Android Pay, intended for in-store and online payments, and Google Wallet for person-to-person, Venmo-style payments. Google Wallet is also available on iOS and via web browsers, whereas, as you might expect, Android Pay is Android-only.

As convenient as it is to simply tap a phone on a register to pay instead of pulling out a card, many businesses were unequipped to handle Android Pay at its initial launch, and Google may have soured some bank partners by demanding personal usage data. Now, with more NFC-compatible merchants, and despite Apple Pay eating its lunch with 90 percent of touchless payments, Android Pay could get an injection of new life. The app works well for its limited tasks, but look for changes in functionality when the search juggernaut reunites it with Wallet.

Setting Up Android Pay

The app is preinstalled on most current Android smartphones, and if not, you can easily download Android Pay from the Play Store and run it on one of many modern Android phones with built-in NFC readers. You also need Android version 4.4 or later. Note that you can only install the app on phones from 17 supported countries. That compares with 25 countries for Apple Pay. The first phone I tried was a South Korean model LG V30+, so…no go.Android Pay Home Screen

If you ever entered credit card or debit card information in any Google service, Android Pay automatically asks to use that as its source for funds. Just go into Settings for NFC and Payment, and enable NFC with Android Pay selected for Tap & Pay. You can even use a PayPal account as a source now. Alternatively, you can enter bank card data manually or scan a card as if you were virtually depositing a check. You validate your card with a code sent to your cellphone number and by entering the CVV number. When I tried setting Android Pay up on a Pixel 2, the verification SMS text message never arrived on my iPhone X, my main phone, and then Android Pay refused to let me use another verification method, such as sending an email, as it did with the next phone I tried.

I got further on a Samsung Galaxy S6, but my credit card bank blocked setup (though I’d used the card for other mobile payment apps like Square Cash and Venmo). Finally, a debit card worked on the S6, which frankly isn’t the ideal testing phone, since you don’t pay with a fingerprint as you do with newer Android models. Nevertheless, the basic payment process is the same. If you don’t already have a passcode, fingerprint scanner, or some other sort of security lock set up on your phone, you must create one, which just makes sense.

As with Apple Pay, Android Pay creates a virtual credit card number for your stored card and keeps the real, sensitive information untraceable for your security. You can also remotely lock or wipe your device to prevent your virtual card from falling into the wrong hands if your phone gets stolen. So in some ways, Android Pay and Apple Pay are more secure than using an actual credit or debit card.

Android Pay in the Wild

When I went to pay for a pack of gum at the local Walgreen’s, the cashier wasn’t sure if her terminal supported such transactions, which give you a hint about the system’s lack of widespread adoption. After unlocking my phone and holding it closely to the NFC terminal for nearly a minute, it did allow me to pay without pulling out my wallet. Hopefully, the service will become more convenient, and one hopes that more retailers will become equipped to handle it. Android Pay-compatible stores include McDonalds, GameStop, and Macy’s at the time of this writing. In my experience, NFC payment-accepting terminals usually support both Android Pay and Apple Pay.

However, Samsung Pay, our Editors’ Choice for in-store contactless payment apps, beats the rest in terms of compatibility. The service uses special hardware inside certain Galaxy phones to imitate the magnetic strip of a credit or debit card. Changing EMV card security regulations may render that advantage less meaningful in the coming years, but for now Samsung Pay works with nearly all standard card readers, an impressive feat no NFC-only payment system can claim.

Neither Android Pay or Samsung Pay does peer-to-peer payments, however. If you’re an Android owner who wants to pay your friends as easily as merchants, you’ll also have to download Google Wallet, Square Cash, PayPal, or our Editors’ Choice peer-to-peer payment app, Venmo.

Android Pay Add

Since Android Pay runs as a background service after you enter your card, you might wonder why it needs to be its own app at all. Apple Pay lives inside the larger Apple Wallet app in iOS. But the additional functions of Android Pay justify a separate app. It lets you virtually manage store gift cards and information for customer loyalty programs, though it’s not a built-in feature as it is with LevelUp.

Adding this data is simple. You scan gift cards and barcodes just like debit and credit cards. You can also search retailers by name and manually enter the information for the loyalty program of, say, Adult Video Warehouse (an actual suggestion from Android Pay). This feature makes managing these programs easier, while keeping your physical wallet uncluttered.

Inside the Android Pay app you can hop over to your bank of choice’s app (if you have it installed) or view a list of recent purchases you’ve made using the app. The list evens tell you the exact location of the stores at which you made every purchase—a very Google blend of creepy and convenient.

Android Pay can also do online and in-app payments. You can use it to make quick and secure in-app purchases with select services such as Airbnb and Etsy. Online checkout is only possible at select websites viewed in Chrome on an Android device, unlike PayPal, which works in any browser and on a plurality of sites that accept payments.

Anticipating a Reunion

Android Pay is a very functional NFC-payment app, and its streamlining of your gift cards and loyalty programs is an appreciated bonus. However, if you have a recent Samsung handset, Samsung Pay is still the superior option. We look forward to testing the upcoming Google Pay replacement when it launches, though there’s no hint of it incorporating Samsung Pay’s ace-in-the-hole swipe payment feature.

Original article by from Source link

Follow us on FaceBook

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *