While we've been following this rumor for months now, Google made Android Pay official during today's keynote. We first heard the name back in February, and knew something was coming ever since they acquired the intellectual property of mobile payment competitor Isis, an agreement that would also make Wallet a pre-installed app on AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon phones. Though it was announced as part of Android M, it will work on KitKat and newer versions.
Functions new to Android Pay include the ability to tap to pay within apps. For apps that use the Pay API, you will only have to click "Buy with Android Pay" and leave the arduous typing of numbers and addresses to the automated system. Read More
The Chrome blog has announced that version 43.0.2357.38 of the browser is being released to the beta channel on the Play Store. This update introduces the usual panoply of bug fixes and performance improvements — which seem to be quite effective this time around — along with a new feature. When purchasing an item, the process of filling checkout forms should be more streamlined and secure thanks to data from Google Wallet.
Another visual change has been implemented in this version as well. Previously, when you had your Chrome tabs merged with Recents, the status bar would take the header color specified by the site (for example, it's blue on Android Police, orange on APK Mirror), but other sites would keep a black bar. Read More
According to a Yahoo Finance exclusive, Google Wallet is now a little bit safer. Yahoo Finance reports that Google Wallet balances are now FDIC-insured, and that Google is accomplishing this by storing Wallet balances in FDIC-insured banking institutions. For reference, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insures a depositor's funds for banking institutions up to $250,000.
As Yahoo Finance points out, services like Wallet, Paypal, or Venmo are considered "non-banking institutions," meaning that they aren't legally required to be federally insured, and indeed Paypal and Venmo currently aren't (though Paypal does offer its own account protection measures).
The report also notes that Google Wallet's current user agreement says balances are not FDIC-insured, but that "a Google spokesperson confirmed in a statement to Yahoo Finance that its current policy has changed."
Ultimately it seems as though Wallet's FDIC insurance will be of little consequence to users, except that it provides peace of mind in case the worst should happen. Read More
Spring, the fashion shopping application that launched on iOS several months ago, is now available on Android devices as well. The service isn't focused on social sharing, instead billing itself as an e-commerce and aiming first and foremost to make it easier to shop 700+ men's and women's fashion brands. It has exclusives, sales (sometimes), an easy check-out experience, and it handles customer service for orders instead of directing you to the brands. And this isn't your whim-of-the-day start-up. According to Forbes, Spring has kept a 100% retention on all of its launch brands, is adding more every week, and has now secured $25 Million in funding to grow its business and hire more people beyond its current 45 employees. Read More
Mobile payments are on the rise. Google has been working with companies for years, and with Apple Pay turning more consumers on to the idea, new opportunities to swipe your phone at a register or pay in advance are popping up left and right.
Now Google has partnered with ChowNow to bring Wallet to thousands of independent restaurants across the US. As of today, restaurants have updated their mobile apps to include Wallet as an additional option at checkout. Future businesses that work with ChowNow will offer integration from the beginning.
The move will hopefully serve as a win-win for everyone involved. Read More
Lyft, the ride-sharing service that is more than happy to have someone drive you around town, will now let you pay for said trip using Google Wallet.
The functionality is available directly inside the app, where you can simply tap Add Google Wallet to skirt around entering your credit card number manually, assuming you already have one saved to your Google account. If you've bought something from the Play Store without using a gift card, then that's more than likely a yes.
Google Wallet will show up as your default form of payment, but you can still use alternatives if you so choose. Read More
Right now a mobile payment system is kind of like a pair of Crocs in the mid-2000s: everyone has to have one and it isn't clear why. Of course Google Wallet has been around for years, but now that Apple Pay (and Samsung Pay, and apparently everyone is paying everything) is around Google needs something a little more competitive, perhaps using those newly-acquired Softcard assets. We've known about Android Pay, a new mobile payment API, for a few weeks. Google's SVP of Android, Chrome, and Google Apps spoke briefly on Android Pay at Mobile World Congress, officially confirming the service. Read More
Google has had a fairly rough time convincing consumers to use Wallet for in-store purchases. However, with the recent acquisition of Softcard's "technology" alongside plans to preload Wallet on Android phones from most major US carriers, Google is putting its weight behind a renewed effort to be a major player at brick-and-mortar locations. Amidst rumors that Google still has something else to announce at I/O, Ars Technica received a tip that a brand new payment platform called Android Pay will be announced at the conference.
According to the source, Android Pay is specifically geared for mobile devices and allows 3rd-party apps to drive both virtual and real-world purchases through a single interface. Read More
After several weeks of rumors, Google has announced their partnership with Softcard. The purpose of this venture is to combine forces with Google Wallet, which has been around since 2011 but never enjoyed wide usage. With Apple Pay having recently entered the fray, Google apparently felt the time is now to get their service back on the map. Buying their competitor Softcard's technology, though, is just the beginning.
In addition to gaining Softcard's back end, Google Wallet will soon be preloaded on all phones sold by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon in the United States. Read More