Android Pay: Tap-and-pay services continue to expand gradually


Google said Tuesday that it will start offering Android Pay in Australia in the first half of next year.

Google Inc. says it’s working with leading financial institutions with the goal of making it available to MasterCard and Visa card holders. Apple Pay launched in Australia last month, but only for American Express customers.

Android Pay is Google’s answer to Apple Pay, which requires an Apple device. Both let you make purchases by tapping the phone next to a store’s payment machine — as long as it’s a newer machine with wireless capabilities known as NFC.

Samsung has its own payment service, Samsung Pay, on its main Android phones. It goes further than Android and Apple Pay in working with many machines that lack NFC. That’s because it has a backup mechanism to replicate old-school card swipes.

On Tuesday, Samsung announced support for 19 additional banks, including PNC Bank and KeyBank.

Even as phone makers push their mobile-payment services, financial institutions and retailers such as Wal-Mart have been working on their own services.


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