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Google announces Android Pay with fingerprint support

Google has just announced a new mobile payment platform for the Android operating system.

It’s called Android Pay, and it’s being positioned as a direct – and not too subtle – rival to Apple Pay on iOS.

“With Android Pay, users can simply and safely use their Android phone to pay in stores,” said Dave Burke, Google’s VP of Engineering, speaking at the company’s annual Google I/O developer conference.

He continued: “Android Pay is focused on simplicity, security, and choice.”

Android Pay will work in much the same way as Apple Pay, insofar as that you can make payments at contactless terminals with any phone that has NFC capability.

Burke also revealed that Google is working with “leading financial institutions”, which will allow users to “securely use [their] existing debit and credit cards with Android Pay.”

Both Visa and MasterCard have already confirmed that they have partnered with Google and will be supporting Android Pay.

The rollout of Android Pay is confirmed to sit in parallel with the launch of Android M later this year, although we don’t have an exact date yet.

Google also explained that Android Pay would be available for use within apps, and used Groupon as an example.

According to the company, the API will be open, which will allow any developer to add Android Pay functionality to their apps.

Related: Best Android Smartphones 2015

But the fun doesn’t stop there. Burke also revealed that you’ll be able to use your fingerprint to authorise payments on Android M.

If that sounds familiar, it’s because Apple employs the exact same feature with Apple Pay and the Touch ID biometric scanner.

You can use your fingerprint not only to make in-store purchases, but also to buy content from the Google Play store. Any developer can use the fingerprint APIs for payment.