Google's Android Pay could be the next big Apple Pay competitor

Another mobile payment service in the works?

Wearables and self-driving cars might not be the only stars of Google I/O 2015, the May conference where the search company may launch a new mobile payment service called "Android Pay."

With Google Wallet losing ground thanks to the rise of Apple Pay, Google will attempt to revive the platform by introducing Android Pay, reports Ars Technica.

Unlike Apple Pay and Google Wallet, though, Android Pay won't be limited to a single official app, but an API that developers can use to add one-tap payment features to their own apps, the site's source said.

It will reportedly let developers take advantage of mobile devices' NFC capabilities through Android's Host Card Emulation (HCE) feature, enabling users to make purchases online and in retail stores using third-party apps.

Coexistence

Google Wallet will continue to exist separately from Android Pay, but it will be easy for users to connect their Wallet accounts to apps that use Android Pay, the source said.

However, the Google Wallet connection won't be required - that is, you won't need a Wallet account to use Android Pay apps.

It's unclear how this is all connected with Google's acquisition of intellectual property and other tech from mobile payment coalition SoftCard, which was revealed just two days ago - but there can be little doubt that it is connected in some way.

Whatever it is, it seems we'll know more by the end of May.

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