Because there's been such tremendous confusion about what cards Android Pay does and does not support, we decided to reach out to Google for some clarification. Basically, we were wondering if cards you have in Google Wallet with tap-and-pay that are not supported in Android Pay will still work once Android Pay arrives. The answer is: yes. But, there are caveats. Let's break this down as a Q&A.
- If I have cards in my Google Wallet that aren't on the supported card list for Android Pay, can I keep using tap-and-pay for those cards on Android Pay? Yes.
To do this, you will need to open Android Pay and add these cards, then accept the Bancorp virtual card agreement. Google will assign these "grandfathered" cards a virtual Bancorp card number (presumably, valid for a year or very possibly more), meaning your issuer won't be able to track detailed transaction metadata and, sadly, won't be able to properly track your spending for rewards/points purposes. So, if you have a cashback or other rewards card in Wallet that is not supported in Android Pay, just like Wallet, you may not be getting the correct rewards levels on all the purchases you make. But it will work.
- If I try to add a non-supported card to Android Pay after I get it, will I be able to "grandfather" in like those existing users? No.
If you attempt to add an unsupported card that was not already in your Wallet account, even during the grandfathering period, Pay will refuse to add it. We've received explicit confirmation of this from Google. We know there's a support page that makes it unclear if any card can be added regardless of existing association with your account - Google has specifically told us this support page is not reflective of the actual policy, and will be clarified.
- How long will the grandfathering period last? We don't know.
Google didn't give us specifics. Given that this program is set up mostly to allow existing Wallet tap-and-pay users to keep functionality for non-supported cards during the Pay transition, it probably won't last terribly long. And the grandfathering period, as far as we know, is just in place for the issuance of virtual card numbers (i.e., after a certain date Google won't let people add in their old cards anymore). Once your card is grandfathered in, you should be able to use it basically as long as that Bancorp virtual card number is valid.
Additionally, this does mean if your grandfathered credit card's number changes at any point, you almost definitely won't be able to keep that card in Android Pay unless your bank or issuer adds support for Pay in the meantime.
Supported banks and issuers can be found on the Pay page. And to be clear, yes: your bank or card issuer (not to be confused with payment processor, e.g. Visa) must explicitly be on the list to be supported. The list of supported processors does not mean all Visa cards are supported, merely that Visa cards are eligible for support if specific issuers work with Google to add that support.