Google launches mobile payment platform called Android Pay; Samsung launches Samsung Pay

Google’s announced at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, that it’s launching a new mobile payment platform, Android Pay. The service will allow third party companies to build payment services into their Android apps, and let users pay for purchases with their smartphones. This isn’t a stand-alone app, but the service will be built into Google Wallet, which Google’s already announced will become much more widespread.

More details are available at The Guardian and Engadget.

Samsung’s also announced yesterday it’ll be offering its own payment service on its smartphones, Samsung Pay. Like TouchWiz and other customized Samsung mobile elements, Samsung Pay doesn’t use Google’s technology, but instead the NFC tech (and a newer technology, Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST)) of a company it bought, LoopPay. However, it requires users to have the newest Samsung phone (the newly announced Galaxy S6 and S6 edge).

It seems odd to basically see Google versus Samsung over an aspect of the OS they share, Android, but I suppose Samsung’s dominant enough to do such. It’s also probably why Google’s made Android Pay an OS-level service and opened it up to third parties, in addition to the Google Wallet expansion. Overall, it looks like smartphone payments will be one of “the” things for tech in 2015, along with wearables.

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