Android Pay is adding a slew of features and promotions to its repertoire, while the payment service has brought Chase Visa on board
Google announced on its official Android blog that the company has brought Chase on board for its Android Pay program. The banking giant will now allow Android customers to add eligible credit and debit Chase Visa cards to their Android Pay repertoire. As a result, Chase cards such as Sapphire, Slate, Freedom, Hyatt Credit Card, and United Mileage Explorer can be used to initiate instant payments on Android using NFC technology.
NFC, or Near Field Technology, is found in latest smartphones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S7 models. Users can use the technology to safely complete contactless payments in apps and in brick-and-mortar stores. Payments are processed via tokens (unique masked account numbers), and customers are informed immediately when a purchase is made.
Chase users can easily set up their Android Pay accounts through the Android Pay app. Users will need an NFC-enabled Android device, while they need to have, at the very least, a KitKat 4.4 Android OS. Chase cards can be added by snapping a picture of the card and verifying the user account.
To initiate payments, users will need to unlock their phone and hold it at any eligible POS terminal. Eligible terminals carry an Android pay sticker. Apps which support Android Pay will also feature a built-in payment option for users.
Stores which support NFC technology can hence allow Chase Bank and Android partner banks to initiate instant payments in the US. Users will retain all of the benefits and rewards that they originally enjoyed with their Chase cards.
Google also announced that Santander and TSB are the latest banks in the UK to be added to Android Pay. The rollout will start out over the next few weeks in the UK, so most customers should be able to execute Android Pay transactions by the end of September 2016.
The company also pointed out Android Pay rewards programs that give something back to the users when they use Android Pay. The Walgreens Balance Rewards loyalty program covers over 8,100 Walgreens locations in the US, and provides loyalty points as well as various savings options.
Android Pay has also partnered with Dunkin’ Donuts, Chili’s, and Uber.Uber has a new Payment Rewards program that provides time-bound discounts. The Android Pay and Uber partnership sees the ridesharing company knock off half the fare on 10 rides from now until October 15. Users only need to use Android Pay to make payments, and no discount codes are needed to initiate payments.
Android Pay will also not be restricted to the app anymore. Websites such as 1-800-Flowers.com, and Groupon.com will support Android Pay on the Google Chrome browser on smartphones. The new mobile checkout option will make its way to more websites as well. Given the popularity of the Google Chrome browser, one cannot blame Google if it restricts Android Pay services to its own browser only.
All in all, the expansions reflect Google’s willingness to promote its own payment option while going toe-to-toe with Samsung Pay and Apple Pay. Android Pay now has a number of global partners, including Seamless (US), Grubhub (US), hungryhouse (UK), and Domino’s (Australia). Alphabet Inc will continue adding more partners to bolster its lineup, while it is interesting to note that the company’s Google Wallet service is still improving as well. The company wants to run both payments services and help both of them be a success. It will be interesting to see what the tech giant has lined up next for Android Pay.