Google's Android Pay mobile wallet arrives in Japan

Handsets running Google's OS will be able to complete transactions at more than 470,000 locations that already accept Rakuten Edy e-money.

Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
Expertise I have more than 30 years' experience in journalism in the heart of the Silicon Valley.
Steven Musil

Android Pay is now accepted at retailers in Japan.


Android Pay, Google's mobile payments service for phones running the OS, is up and running in Japan, two months after Apple's rival service went live on the island nation.

The launch will allow Android handset owners to use their devices to complete transactions at more than 470,000 locations that already accept Rakuten Edy, a prepaid e-money service, Google said in a statement Monday. The search giant's latest attempt to spur people into paying for items using their phone launched in the US in 2015 and is now accepted in UK, Ireland, Poland, Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong and New Zealand.

Mobile payments, which have been discussed for years, have been slow to take off. But many more customers are expected to start using their phones to buy items in stores now that three of the biggest tech companies in the world -- Apple, Google and Samsung -- have introduced new mobile-payments platforms.

Apple announced in September that its Apple Pay mobile payments app would finally be available in Japan in October, thanks to new technology in the iPhone 7 and the Apple Watch Series 2. Making Apple Pay available in Japan involved Apple tweaking its technology to support FeliCa, the tap-and-pay contactless mobile payment technology developed by Sony.