Android Pay is coming. We thought it was coming last month, but that didn't end up panning out. Either way, the launch does seem imminent: Android Pay is expected to be available in the US in a matter of weeks, in time for Google's Nexus phone(s) to launch, and soon you'll be able to tap-and-pay (...again) with your Android phone at Select Retail Locations(TM).
As far as we know, Android Pay pretty much really is just about paying for stuff. Loyalty cards and similar things may be integrated, but Pay is largely a rebrand of Wallet's NFC-based tap-to-pay functionality designed pretty expressly to ride the coattails of the launch of Apple Pay via a new logo that retailers can put on their credit card terminals (and have been).
Of course, Android Pay won't be launching across the world - it'll probably be US-only to start, and it's hard to say how long it could take Google to roll it out elsewhere. With that in mind, assuming Android pay did launch where you lived and there were at least a semi-reasonable number of major retailers who accepted it, would you want to use it?
This may seem like an obvious question to some. "Of course, it's cool!" But I really do think it's not so simple. Personally, NFC-based payments hold little actual interest for me outside of a few contexts. Vending machines, taxis, and other fully-automated transactions (like transit tickets) make perfect sense for NFC. Low-dollar transactions that you're just concerned with completing as quickly as humanly possible and preferably without having to pull out your wallet.
But NFC payments at a department store? When buying groceries? A convenience store? Even a fast food restaurant? I'm not sure I see the sell. Many times, I actively pick which card I use for a transaction based on rewards points or the type of spending I'm doing, and the idea of having to take out my phone, open the Android Pay app and then pick a card before I pay seems like a waste of time. It would almost certainly be slower than just taking out my wallet and swiping the card I want, and I don't really see any benefit to using Pay in these situations to begin with aside from novelty. I also don't see a situation where I leave home without my major credit cards or debit card - I simply wouldn't do it. I'm years away from trusting my phone to be 100% reliable to pay for things while I'm out, even independent of the adoption rate of tap-to-pay in actual stores. What if my battery dies? What if it just doesn't work? You can't "try another card" - if NFC payment fails, you can't pay. That would suck. And as to carrying a reduced number of cards... why? Sure, if my wallet gets stolen, I've got fewer cards to cancel, but the chance of this happening are extremely low, and the reduced "wallet bulk" would basically be negligible.
But I'm not everybody. What do you think - is tap-to-pay going to be the only way for you as soon as it's reasonably possible, or do you feel otherwise? Get voting! (Remember, for the purpose of this poll, assume Android Pay would launch in your country, even if it probably won't.)