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Android Pay v1.12 prepares for launch in Japan with Rakuten Edy and other e-money providers [APK Teardown]

Android Pay made its first Asian appearance in Singapore back in late-June. A couple months later, in August, rumors began circulating that Google was in negotiations with numerous financial companies to prepare for a launch in Japan. Names of the likely partners included: Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, East Japan Railway Company, Rakuten, NTT Docomo, and JCB, to name a few. Since then, details have been sparse; but with evidence discovered in the latest update to Android Pay, it's now clear that a deal has been struck with Rakuten.

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Android Pay v1.5 prepares to show new users where to find NFC on their phones and might be experimenting with the secure element again [APK Teardown]

There are a lot of factors playing into the success and failure of mobile payment systems. Perhaps the most challenging issue for Android Pay to overcome isn't the slow adoption of compatible payment terminals or the general lack of awareness about contactless payments, it's the confusion people experience once they decide to try it. While many users are nervous simply because they don't know what to expect, some others are confronted with an even bigger challenge: they have no idea where the NFC antenna is on their phone. The Android Pay app has been progressively adding more informative screens to help with educating users about tap-and-go payments, and now evidence from a teardown suggests Google will soon teach users what part of the phone to actually tap with.

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Microsoft Appears To Be Prepping A Google Wallet Competitor Called Microsoft Payments

Google Wallet has existed for almost four years, but everyone suddenly wants to be involved with mobile payments now that Apple Pay is a thing. Samsung Pay is expected later this year, and Microsoft is rumored to be preparing its own NFC payment service called Microsoft Payments. The news comes by way of a regulatory filing in which Microsoft applies to deploy a money transmission service in all 50 states.

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Ars Technica: Google Is Preparing To Launch Android Pay, An API For Seamless Tap-And-Pay Transactions

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.

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PSA: Google Wallet 'Tap And Pay' Functionality Appears To Be Working On Most KitKat Updates For Devices On Isis Carriers

As Android 4.4/KitKat updates begin rolling out to devices on all the major US carriers, one frequently asked question has to do with whether or not these devices will include Android's new "Tap and Pay" feature. This was one of the major additions in KitKat and allows almost any device with an NFC chip to be used for "tap and go" mobile payments, even if said chip doesn't have a built-in secure element. This means that Google Wallet's tap and pay feature, which has historically been disabled on most Android devices save for carrier-independent Nexus/GPE devices, and select Sprint phones, will now work just fine regardless of device or carrier.

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