Google, Android

Sunder Pichai, in his Keynote address today, talked about a lot of stuff. The most interesting part of the speech though, was the announcement of Android Pay, Google’s counter to Apple Pay.

While Google Wallet failed to capitalise on even the minilaisitc traction it had gained, with Android Pay, Google is leaving it to the developers, to integrate the API and form their own payment systems. The app’s (or API’s) biggest selling point is this availability as an API, rather than a fixed app like Apple Pay.

So how does this API work ? Well, pretty simple. Google gives developers a secured API, so that they can integrate the same into their apps and hence form their own payment mechanism, without having to go through the hassles of forming their own encryption systems to allow payments. The integration is similar to how other Google APIs integrate.

Like Apple Pay, Google too will make use of Near-Field Communication (NFC) for payments. The API has in-built support for biometric authentication via fingerprint scanners on devices like Galaxy S5, S6 or S6 Edge. And while Samsung is pretty much doing the rounds to get exclusivity for its own hardware, Pichai made it clear that this product is to offer consumers, more choice.

Google’s system will also tokenize card numbers,similar to how Apple Pay and the newly announced Samsung Pay do.What this means, is that the API will generate a unique token for each of the transactions at a receiving terminal, thus avoiding exposure of user’s credit card information. What this does is, that it allows much secured transactions as a one-time generated token is of no use, once it has expired.

There’s no release-timeline yet, but you can expect to know more about the same during Google’s I/O . Well, if you get tickets…which is pretty much a ‘once-in-a-blue-moon’ opportunity.


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