Android Pay, PayPal aim to make paying with your phone easier

Or did mobile payments just get that much more confusing?

Ben Fox Rubin Former senior reporter
Ben Fox Rubin was a senior reporter for CNET News in Manhattan, reporting on Amazon, e-commerce and mobile payments. He previously worked as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal and got his start at newspapers in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Ben Fox Rubin
2 min read

Making mobile payments easier with partnerships. Sure, it might work.


Google and PayPal have teamed up to make mobile purchasing easier -- well, at least that's what they're hoping.

The two companies on Tuesday said they're growing their existing partnership and will soon allow US customers to use PayPal as a payment option within Android Pay , Google's mobile wallet. That way, someone with a PayPal account can connect it to Android Pay and start using the PayPal credentials to buy in store, in app and online where Android Pay is accepted.

"It's really just another step for Google to give their users another choice when they pay for something with Android Pay," said Aunkur Arya, general manager of mobile for PayPal's Braintree team.

This step could help make setting up your Android Pay wallet a little simpler, so you won't have to re-enter all your card information from scratch. Cutting out that little bit of friction and providing Android Pay users with a trusted name like PayPal could help spur greater adoption of mobile payments, which major tech players including Apple, Samsung and Amazon are all pushing for. The deal will also help PayPal work its way into more physical stores, building off its tie-in last year with Vodafone, after it became a leader in digital payments.

Yet mobile wallets -- from Apple Pay to Walmart Pay -- continue to face slow and low adoption, since many people still like using cash and don't seem to think plastic is all that difficult either. In comparison, there are a bunch of new mobile payments services and they don't all work in the same places, which is leading to customer confusion. Partnerships like the one with PayPal and Android Pay might help reduce that confusion -- or may just add another layer of it by creating Russian nesting dolls of mobile wallets.

The new PayPal integration is "coming soon" to Android Pay, PayPal said, with customers able to use the new feature at retailers like Uber, Walgreens and Dunkin' Donuts.

PayPal declined to disclose the terms of the new deal. It has already been a payment service in the Google Play store for nearly three years.

At first, people will only be able to pay using their PayPal balances, but a few months down the road they will be able to use cards they stored with PayPal.

The PayPal integration is supported on versions of Android OS 4.4 and higher, including KitKat, Lollipop, Marshmallow and Nougat.

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