MWC 2015: Google Unveils Android Pay

Samsung Announces Second Biometric SmartphoneGoogle has officially unveiled its new mobile payment platform, Android Pay. The announcement came over the weekend at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Industry watchers have been curious about the possibility for a while now, with some predicting that such a service would be competing against Apple Pay and Alipay in the opening Chinese market over the course of this year. That now appears to be very likely. It also seems like Android Pay is going to be going up against a rival platform from its longtime ally Samsung in the form of Samsung Pay, though the two companies insist they remain the best of friends and, according to a Forbes article by Amit Chowdhry, will look at potential synergies between the two services.

The company says that Android Pay won’t be a separate app, but will actually be available to developers as an API layer to install in their own apps – a design that reflects Google’s commitment to open architecture in its offerings. Also interesting is Android Pay’s lack of built-in biometric security standards, which might raise some eyebrows. While the company says it will support such security measures later on, for now its content with its on-device storage of credit card information and tokenization of card numbers in transactions. Many credit at least part of Apple Pay’s success to that company’s use of built-in fingerprint scanners on its devices, which has helped to assuage consumers’ security concerns with respect to mCommerce; but it’s also quite possible that now that so many consumers are enthralled with the convenience of mPayment, they just won’t care about these kinds of security concerns.