Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Google's Android Pay is slowly catching up to Apple Pay.

Google is updating its mobile payments platform to make it easier for Android users to make in-app purchases. The feature is available now in more than 20 apps.

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The capabilities, which were first previewed at the company's I/O developer conference earlier this year, are similar to the in-app purchasing features in Apple Pay. Developers who have integrated Android Pay into their apps can allow users to make purchases through their credit cards that are linked to Android Pay, without requiring them to leave the app. This applies to both in-app purchases of physical goods — like groceries through Instacart — and services, such as Lyft.

A handful of apps, including Lyft, HotelTonight, DoorDash and OpenTable, are beginning to make the payments feature available now and Google says more developers will be adding the features in the coming months.

The move is a significant step for Google's payments platform as it looks to increase adoption among users. The company says its tap-to-pay NFC-based payments, which allows people to pay with their phones at point of sale terminals in brick-and-mortar stores, are already available in more than one million locations in the United States.

But considering that Android is much more dominant in Europe and elsewhere outside the U.S, an international launch of Android Pay will be a significant milestone for the platform. Though Google has been vague on details of an international expansion, the company did announce it would be bringing Android Pay to Australia in the "first half of 2016," with more countries to follow later in the year.

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