A First Look at Android Pay

Earlier today I wrote that Android Pay has been released by Google and is starting to roll out into the Google Play Store.  I’ve downloaded the app and wanted to give you a first look at it.  For those of you who have used Google Wallet in the past, you will find a lot of similarities.  The new Android Pay app allows you to make purchases at retailers using your NFC enabled Android phone or tablet.  If you are not seeing Android Pay in the Play Store yet, give it time.  It will be there and when it is, you will also have to update Google Play Services on your device for it to work.

When you first start Android Pay you will go through the normal terms and conditions and you will also be prompted to setup a security PIN.  If you have Google Wallet installed then your PIN will be transferred over to this new app along with your loyalty cards, gift cards and credit cards that you had in that app.  One side note, this app replaces Google Wallet so when you install it, the

Security PIN Setup in Android Pay
Security PIN Setup in Android Pay

old app will disappear on your device.

With the PIN setup, Android Pay will start and you will see your cards displayed.  The primary credit card will be whatever credit card you have assigned to your Google account for when you buy things in the Google Play Store.  You can change this however by tapping-and-dragging another credit card to the Default Card slot at the top of the display.  To add a credit card you can either manually type in the number or use your device’s camera to line up the card and snap a photo of it.  Android Pay will translate that image into the correct information for the card and put it into your Wallet.  You will have to accept the terms and conditions for the card holder – Capital One, Bank of America, etc. – and you will need to make sure you have the proper address for the card if it is different than your normal mailing address.  For example, my corporate card’s mailing address is my corporate address, not my home address.

Android Pay Wallet
Android Pay Wallet

Functionally to use Android Pay at a store, there is no difference.  You simply tap your phone to the NFC enabled terminal and the transaction is recorded.  For each card in the app you will have a detailed list of transactions so you can keep track of it quickly and easily.

Overall in working with the app today I’ve found it to be very intuitive and easy to use.  Again, if you have used Google Wallet in the past, this is going to feel very familiar to you.

Finally, and this may seem a bit redundant to say, but to use Android Pay your device has to be NFC enabled.  Many devices do have this functionality but you will want to double-check prior to installing.  Otherwise it frankly won’t do you much good.