Google is finally ready to launch Android Pay

Google Pay
Nick Mokey/Digital Trends

The world has been waiting for Android Pay to arrive ever since Google announced it was part of Android Marshmallow at its I/O conference in May. We’ve had false alarms about the actual launch date before now, but the clock is ticking for Google — it’s rumored to be launching new Nexus devices and Android Marshmallow itself in the next few weeks, and Android Pay needs to be in place before then.

This weekend we’ve got a few new indications that Android Pay is indeed almost upon us, and September 16 looks to be the date to look out for: That’s the date mentioned in a leaked Verizon memo, though it’s worth remembering that release dates can always get pushed back. The launch is tied into the roll out of Google Play Services 8.1, which has already started appearing on some handsets.

Google Wallet promo

And Google itself is promoting the imminent arrival of Android Pay in its own mobile apps: The most recent Google Wallet upgrade shows an advert for the new payments app, and there’s now a FAQ online as well that explains the differences between the two. The next version of Google Wallet will let you send and receive money on any platform, whereas Android Pay is a mobile payments system tied to Android itself.

It’s a direct rival to Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and the other services out there, giving users myriad ways to pay for goods on the go (provided the retailer in question supports the technology, of course). Depending on your handset, you may get Android Pay automatically (as a replacement for Google Wallet), or you might have to download it manually — the service works on devices running Android 4.4 KitKat or above with built-in NFC functionality.