Google has announced that Android Pay will officially launch today. After being rumored to premiere several weeks ago, the company’s Google Wallet replacement will start hitting handsets over the next few days. Android Pay is functionally equivalent to Apple Pay, providing Android users a tokenized NFC payment system. Unlike Google Wallet, which required users to preload a virtual charge card, with Android Pay you simply connect your credit or debit card to make charges. Android Pay should be accepted any place Apple Pay and other contactless payment methods are accepted.
Google’s launch of Android Pay is well timed, hitting just before the launch of new iPhones and Samsung’s competing service. Samsung’s service will officially begin on September 28th in the US and, unlike Apple Pay and Android Pay, will allow you to use your Galaxy handset to pay at any magnetic swipe register. All 3 services will beat the much delayed, and outdated, CurrentC to market; the QR based CurrentC began its first single market test a few weeks ago.