If your business accepts credit cards, there's now an easier way for customers to make purchases using their Android devices.
This week, Google unveiled Android Pay, the company's version of the Apple Pay mobile-payments system. Android Pay lets customers pay for purchases with just a tap on their Android devices, eliminating the need to carry around credit cards, debit cards, cash and even loyalty cards.
Google designed Android Pay to work as quickly and conveniently as possible. To set up Android Pay, customers first have to download the app and integrate their banks and credit cards. (Android is working with AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile to have Android Pay ready to use in all new Android phones.) To make a purchase, customers just need to unlock their phones and place them near a contactless terminal, and transactions will be automatically processed. [27 Ways to Accept Mobile Payments]
Android Pay also works for online purchases on mobile apps. Customers simply have to choose "Buy with Android Pay" when checking out, and the system will automatically send payment and shipping information. Since customers don't have to enter this information themselves, it will speed up the purchase.
What Android Pay means for businesses
Android Pay benefits businesses by giving customers more choices, flexibility and convenience when making purchases. It also helps to speed up lines by providing a faster way to pay.
Additionally, Android Pay can save time by letting businesses and customers integrate loyalty programs into the app. Android gives the example of MyCokeRewards: When a customer purchases a Coke, Android Pay sends both payment and MyCokeRewards information to automatically apply any offers and points.
For customers to use Android Pay in person, businesses will need a contactless terminal that has Near-Field Communication (NFC) enabled. This is already available from most point-of-sale (POS) system vendors, either as part of a package or as additional equipment.
To implement Android Pay for in-app purchases, businesses will need to use a payment processor that works with Android Pay. Android has partnered with popular credit card payment processors like Braintree, CyberSource, FirstData, Stripe and Vantiv.
As with any new mobile-payments system, customers may be worried about their privacy, and it's a business's responsibility to make sure transactions are secure. Android ensures that customers' information is safe by using layers of protection.
Android Pay works with payment networks and financial institutions to enable standard security tokenization, specifically a virtual account-number for each transaction. This means Android Pay doesn't store or transmit customers' real debit or credit card numbers, so no one — including businesses — will be able to see any financial information.
Additionally, Android protects lost or stolen devices by allowing customers to immediately lock and wipe their devices to disable Android Pay. This can be done via the Android Device Manager, where users can also set new passwords.
Google says Android Pay will be available soon, though an official date has yet to be announced. The service is set to work with Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. It will also work with these financial institutions: Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi, U.S. Bank, Navy Federal Credit Union, PNC, Regions and USAA.
To learn more about Android Pay, visit android.com/pay.