Google Pay in India (formerly Tez) quickly rose in popularity to become almost synonymous with the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) — the very platform it’s based on. Last September, the company announced plans to expand beyond UPI payments to support tokenized cards, but nothing materialized even months after that initial teaser. It looks like Google Pay India is finally adding credit and debit cards as a supported payment option, though it isn't live for everyone yet.
With the holidays fast approaching, you might be scrambling for gift ideas for some of your tech-savvy relatives and friends — or maybe you just want something neat for yourself. If you want to look snazzy while you track calories for your New Year's resolution, you're in luck: The TicWatch Pro is on sale for a new low of $159 ($91 off) on Amazon.
Android Pay is finally here. Or, it will be very soon. Google just announced Pay's launch on the official Android blog, and while it's very similar to Wallet, there's been one key change: not all cards are universally supported anymore. That's right: just like Apple Pay, Google must explicitly work with your bank or credit card issuer to gain Android Pay compatibility.
Previously, Wallet worked with basically any card or bank because it utilized a virtual MasterCard account on the front-end of the NFC transaction, then charged your connected credit card or debit card on the back-end.
Believe it or not, a lot of Android fans were happy to see Apple announce its new Apple Pay system with the iPhone 6. Thanks to its reliance on NFC technology (welcome to 2011, Cupertino!) and Apple's famous marketing muscle, it meant that NFC payments might finally start taking off, particularly in the US. The same NFC-equipped registers that work with Apple Pay generally work with Google Wallet as well.
Remember when everyone was pissed off that the Verizon version of the Galaxy Nexus couldn't use Google Wallet because of "security concerns"? ISIS Mobile Wallet, the alternative carrier-sponsored NFC payment system (and the reason that last sentence was equipped with sarcastic quote marks) is finally available, just two years after Google Wallet was coincidentally blocked by the carriers that are pushing ISIS. Nice work there, fellas.
ISIS has been in a beta testing mode in limited markets for just over a year - the necessary Android apps have been available on the Google Play Store since then.
Isis launched its mobile payments platform in Salt Lake City, UT and Austin, TX today, in a limited, initial rollout that's probably best viewed as a tech test more than an NFC payments panacea. We've know for quite some time that these would be Isis' launch markets (after numerous delays), and we also had a basic idea of how the system would work: NFC. What wasn't so widely-known is the fact that Isis uses the SIM secure element method to store payment credentials.
This is in contrast to Google Wallet's method, where your virtual MasterCard (used as the medium through which your payments are processed) is stored in a secure element that is typically included as a part of the NFC chip.
Yesterday, a rumor at the Wall Street Journal stated that major retailers like Walmart, Target, and 7-Eleven were in the process of teaming up to create their own mobile payment solution. They sure didn't waste much time on making it official, as this morning that solution was announced as "MCX" - or, Merchant Customer Exchange. Sexy.
This is a big deal, though. And it's a big deal because of the names in the headline above - quite literally most places where Americans buy things have come together to create a mobile wallet system. But it's not just Target, Walmart, and Best Buy.
Holy crap - Google Wallet just dropped a bomb on everyone and announced that the service now supports Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. We sort of suspected something like this would happen, and Google has managed to do it by making Wallet payments partially cloud-based, as opposed to a fully embedded system.
This means Wallet will work offline for the actual payment (it stores an encrypted card ID in the NFC chip), but does require an active internet connectionif you want switch payment options or add a new one. Your card should stick in the system once selected, and as long as it is selected, payment should continue to work offline.