Apple to launch rewards program for Apple Pay users next month; Android Pay to be unveiled at I/O?
While Apple Pay has raised the public's awareness of mobile payment systems, it still is only available at a limited number of retailers in the U.S. It also is limited to those with the Apple iPhone 6, Apple iPhone 6 Plus and the Apple Watch.
Meanwhile, Google is expected to announce Android Pay later today at its I/O developer conference. Google recently acquired technology and patents from the now defunct mobile payment system Softcard, and it is unknown how much of Android Pay will be using the fruits of that acquisition. When consumers use Android Pay, points will automatically be added to loyalty programs run by merchants.
A revamped Google Wallet will be available for both Android and iOS users. Google Wallet was originally released in 2011 but Google never connected with the banks that issue credit cards, or with the credit card network. This time around, Google is said to be working with the banks and credit card networks.
A third major player could be in the picture. Samsung Pay was announced in March after Sammy purchased Loop Pay. Because Loop Pay's system works with the magnetic stripe on a credit card instead of requiring NFC, over 10 million stores are able to use the system. Whether Samsung Pay takes some users away from Android Pay remains to be seen.
Later today, we should know a lot more about Android Pay. Make sure you check in all day for our coverage of Google I/O 2015 starting with a liveblog of the Keynote speech.