Google announced the existence of Android Pay back in March at Mobile World Congress, but details were fairly slim at the time. Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Android, Chrome, and Apps, called it an "API layer" that would let other companies support secure payments for Android both in apps and in physical stores, but how exactly it would work remained unclear. However, one day before Google I/O kicks off, we're learning more — The New York Times just revealed some new details on Android Pay.
Perhaps the most interesting is the concept of a competitor for Square Cash — the report indicates that Google is revamping Google Wallet and re-introducing it as a "peer-to-peer payments app" that lets users pass money back and forth to each other through their bank accounts. The new Google Wallet is reportedly coming to iOS and not just Android, in keeping with Google's focus on having as many of its services on iOS as possible. It also reinforced the idea that Android Pay would let businesses accept payments within their apps using stored credit cards and also noted that it could integrate with rewards programs that different retailers offer.
We'll find out more tomorrow
All in all, it sounds like a new day for Google's efforts in mobile payments, something the company has struggled with since launching Google Wallet back in 2011. That stands in sharp contrast to Apple Pay, which launched last fall on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus — most reports have shown that Apple Pay is dominant in the contactless payment space. We should find out exactly what in this new report is accurate before very long — Google's big I/O keynote is less than a day away, and we figure to hear plenty about Android Pay then.