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Android Pay to join Wallet as Google battles Apple and Samsung

Google is ramping-up its efforts to conquer the mobile payments space, announcing its intentions to supplement Google Wallet with a new Android Pay service at MWC 2015.

Speaking at a press event in Barcelona, Google’s Sundar Picahi explained the new platform will have a focus on in-app payments for those with Android smartphones and tablets.

Android Pay will allow third-party app developers to build a payment mechanism into their apps, making it easier for them to sell their product without users having to enter separate payment details.

We are doing it in a way so that anybody else can build a payments service on top of Android,” Pichai said of Android Pay, which will be an under-the-hood service built into the OS rather than a Wallet-like standalone app.

“In places like China and Africa, we hope that people will use Android Pay to build innovative services.”

As well as the on-phone payment service, Android Pay will also have an NFC-based in-store presence similar to the Apple Pay offering.

Related: What is Apple Pay? A guide to mobile payments on the Apple Watch and iPhone 6

Just like its rival’s burgeoning service, Android Pay will send retailers a one-use payment token rather than hand over the user’s credit card details. NFC will be the focus of the initial roll out, but Google says it’ll eventually work with fingerprint scanners too.

The announcement comes following the Samsung Pay announcement, which will allow its device owners to make contactless payments at 90 per cent of U.S. retailers, compared with Apple Pay’s 10 per cent.

The mobile payments space is certainly hotting up. Can Google keep pace?

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