Technology is greatly changing the way we pay for our goods. By the end of this year, over 600 million Americans will be using shiny new EMV cards as a new security feature, and some Americans won’t be using cards at all. Mobile payment systems are gaining just as much popularity as new EMV cards are, which is a refreshing change after a long struggle. Mobile payments have been around for several years, but didn’t make much headway until Apple announced Apply Pay on iPhones and the Apple Watch.
Less than 3 days after the announcement of Apple Pay, over 1 million credit cards had been activated in the system. The overnight spike in popularity has led other e-commerce and tech industry leaders to great lengths to catch up.
Google had its own version of a mobile payment system, but was not nearly as wildly received. Apple Pay came out on top with its easy to use features, more enhanced security, and much more extensive list of partners. However, Google’s new mobile pay platform may change the game. Last week, it unveiled its new Android Pay platform, which works similarly to Apple Pay. Users will be able to pay for in-store or mobile items straight from a virtual wallet.
The platform also allows users to draw money from third-party bank accounts. Google has built the platform to be more flexible to let users choose the payment methods that work best for them. What’s more, Android Pay has greatly expanded its partner list and can now be used in roughly 700,000 stores across the country. The platform will be integrated into other apps like Lyft and Groupon, as well.
Google announced the Android Pay platform will be officially released with the new Android operating system, set to rollout in late 2015. The mobile pay market is already huge, totaling $3.5 billion in payments last year. By 2018, experts predict that number will soar to a whopping $118 billion. With wearable devices and a bevy of mobile payment options, consumer may very well be ditching their “real world” wallets forever.