Google goes live with Android Pay

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Google goes live with Android Pay

Apple Pay rival switched on in a million US locations.

Google will roll out Android Pay, a one-touch payment app on Android devices, in more than one million locations in the United States on Thursday US time.

The payment service can be used through Android devices with near-field communication (NFC) technology and Google's KitKat 4.4+ operating system. 

Android Pay will compete with Apple's Apple Pay in the mobile payments market, which research firm IDC estimates will be worth $1 trillion in 2017.

Existing users of the Google Wallet app can access Android Pay through an update, while new users can download it from the Google Play store in the next few days.

Google's shares rose 1.4 percent to US$652.74 in afternoon trading.

The company said the payment service could be used at stores operated by companies including Aeropostale, Macy's, GameStop and Staples.

Android Pay will be made available in more locations over the next few days and more features will be added to it in the coming months, Google said in a blog post.

Android Pay will support credit and debit cards on payment networks of American Express, Discover Financial Services, MasterCard and Visa, and cards issued by banks such as Bank of America and US Bank, among others.

Google said Citigroup and Wells Fargo would also be added to the list in the next few days.

As part of security, the service is supported by the industry standard "tokenisation" card-security service.

The tokenisation service substitutes random numbers for a user's credit card details when a merchant transmits transaction data, reducing the risk of online theft.

The app will come preinstalled on new NFC-enabled phones from wireless carriers AT&T Inc, T-Mobile US and Verizon.

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