Google Revs Up Android Pay API For I/O Conference Launch

The upcoming Google I/O Conference could see the company launch a new mobile payment system API, according to sources who spoke to Ars Technica. The new service, which would let users pay for items both at physical cash registers and online, is expected to be called Android Pay.

Google’s Host Card Emulation (HCE) technology will let phones and other devices with Android Pay create transactions through register devices that have NFC technology. The Android Pay API will also let developers add payment buttons to their online stores.

The competition between Apple and Google for mobile payments is heating up.

Google has been making several moves to revamp its Google Wallet, including buying rival Softcard, but it sounds as though Android Pay will be a different entity than Google Wallet. Android Pay is reported to be built from scratch and doesn’t have much in common with Google Wallet. Customers will be able to use either service.

It stands to reason that one of these services will get phased out and the likely payment system to go would be Wallet, considering that Google is building Android Pay with the knowledge it gained from its experience with Wallet. If that is Google’s plan, it makes sense that it will wait until Android Pay is launched and has proven itself in the marketplace. One question that is unanswered at this point is whether Android Pay will provide user info to Google for advertising purposes the way that Wallet can.