Google’s new mobile wallet is just like Apple Pay

Android Pay is ready to take on Apple Pay. Photo: Google

Android Pay is ready to take on Apple Pay. Photo: Google

Google’s first attempt to revolutionize mobile payments didn’t work out so well. Nearly four years after introducing Google Wallet, the company announced at Google IO this morning that it’s replacing its first mobile wallet solution with a new app called Android Pay, and it basically works just like Apple Pay.

Google Wallet isn’t getting completely killed off quite yet — the company says it will still be around to power Play store purchases outside Android on the web, and facilitate peer-to-peer-payments — but Android Pay will now power all in-app and tap-to-pay purchases on Android device.

To make a payment, Android users can now just tap their fingerprint sensor to instantly charge items to their credit card (just like Apple Pay). Developers can code support for Android Pay into their apps (just like Apple Pay), and it works with NFC readers so your can just raise your device to a terminal to pay for stuff (just like Apple Pay).

Taking advantage of fingerprint sensors that have been on Android device years before Apple came out with TouchID, Google says seven out of ten Android devices can already use Android Pay. There are already over 700,000 merchants accepting it in stores, starting today, which could help it catch back to Apple Pay after it built up a huge lead this year. Unfortunately for Android Wear smartwatch owners, Android Pay doesn’t work on smartwatches (unlike Apple Pay), so there’s still some work to do before it’s a pure Apple Pay copycat.