Android users seething over Apple’s sudden success with Apple Pay might get some good news this spring: If the tip received by Ars Technica turns out to be true, an upgraded tap-and-pay solution called Android Pay will be announced at this year’s Google I/O developer conference.
The big innovation that Android Pay will bring to the current Google Wallet is an API enabling the user to access Wallet from within any app that supports it. For example, if you were redeeming a coupon from the 7-Eleven app you could pay for the entire purchase with Google Wallet, without leaving the 7-Eleven app.
Android Pay has been partly made possible by Google’s recent acquisition of SoftCard, a failed mobile payment system created by a partnership of US carriers. And no doubt some of it has to do with the looming spectre of Apple Pay, even though some Android users—at least in the USA—have been able to tap and pay with Google Wallet for years. An added bonus of the SoftCard deal is that Wallet/Android Pay may see a wider release on carrier-branded phones.
And whither Cana-duh in all of this? We’re likely to remain a digital backwater in such things… Best to not get me started on that.