Google: Android Pay rollout starts today

We’ve known about Android Pay since Google’s I/O conference earlier this year, but now it’s finally arrived.

The search engine giant has confirmed that it’s started rolling out the fledgling mobile payments platform.

Google’s Android Pay is a rival to Apple Pay, and lets Android users pay for goods in brick-and-mortar stores using their smartphones.

You’ll need at least Android 4.4 KitKat to use Android Pay, as well as a smartphone with an NFC chip inside.

The launch is US-only initially, and Android Pay will support American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa.

According to Google, you’ll be able to use Android Pay at over one million locations “and counting” across the US – anywhere that accepts tap and pay payments.

That includes Subway, Toys R Us, Staples, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, and GameStop.

“We’ll be rolling out gradually over the next few days, and this is just the beginning,” says Pali Bhat, Director of Product Management for Android Pay.

Bhat continues: “We will continue to add even more features, banks and store locations in the coming months, making it even easier to pay with your Android phone.”

Google has put plenty of emphasis on security with Android Pay, promising that your real credit or debit card number won’t be sent with your payment.

Instead, Google will use a virtual account number to provide “an extra layer of security”.

The company also says that later this year, Android users will be able to use Android Pay to “speed through mobile checkout in your favourite apps”.

You’ll also be able to transmit loyalty cards and special offers with a tap eventually too, albeit with select merchants.

Related: Android Pay vs Apple Pay

If you’re already an existing Google Wallet user, you can access Android Pay by updating the Wallet app.

For those new to Google-powered payments, Android Pay will be available to download on the Google Play store “in the next few days”.

The platform will also come preinstalled on new NFC-enabled Android phones from AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless.

Will you be using Android Pay? Let us know in the comments.

Check out our smartphone buyer’s video guide below:

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links. Tell us what you think – email the Editor