Android Pay mobile payments system to debut at Google I/O 2015 in May?

Google is apparently gearing up to unveil a new mobile payments system called Android Pay in a few months, according to a new report.

Just recently, Google acquired mobile payments startup SoftCard (formerly known as Isis), signaling that it was getting ready to launch a solution to rival Apple Pay. New information has now surfaced regarding Google's efforts toward this endeavor.

"A source close to the matter told Ars on Wednesday that Google will be announcing a new payments API that will be called Android Pay at Google's I/O conference in May. The platform will power in-store and in-app payments for third-party apps," Ars Technica reports.

"Android Pay will allow companies to add a mobile payments option to their app, to which users can upload credit card or debit card information, so that payments become single-tap transactions within the app. In addition, a company adopting the Android Pay API will be able to allow tap-to-pay transactions in brick-and-mortar stores. This function will rely on Google's Host Card Emulation (HCE), which makes it easier for third-party apps to take advantage of Android phones' Near Field Communications (NFC) chips."

"As opposed to Google Wallet, the Android Pay API will be "built from the ground up" for Android developers, using HCE," adds the report.

Google reportedly has no partners for Android Pay at this point, but it still has a couple of months to put things in order. At the same time, Android Pay will not replace Google Wallet, at least not at first. Google Wallet will apparently continue to exist as a separate service, and will be supported by Android Pay. This means that a customer will be able to link their Google Wallet account to third-party apps running Android Pay with no hassle.

The mobile payments space has become an attractive sector with growth potential ever since Apple Pay launched back in October 2014. Apple Pay proved to be quite popular and boosted the number of mobile transactions in general. Even Google Wallet saw a 50 percent increase in transactions per week after the launch of Apple Pay.

With mobile payments gaining momentum, more companies are apparently looking to get a slice of the pie. Samsung recently acquired mobile payments startup LoopPay, fueling speculation that the next-generation Galax S6 may have an ace up its sleeve to rival iPhones with Apple Pay. As always, however, take all rumors and reports with a grain of salt until official news surface.

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