Android Pay expands its reach via new partnerships with Visa and MasterCard

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Google announced this morning two strategic partnerships with Visa and MasterCard aimed at expanding the reach of its mobile payments service, Android Pay. The company says that Android Pay users who are shopping online from their smartphones will soon be able to make payments on hundreds of thousands of new sites where either Visa Checkout or Masterpass are accepted at checkout.

Visa Checkout and Masterpass are Visa and MasterCard’s own attempts at carving out their own space in online payments, as a competitor to services like PayPal and Apple Pay, for example, the latter of which arrived in Apple’s Safari browser, on both desktop and mobile, this September.

Google, on the other hand, is touting how its payments service, Android Pay, is designed to work with existing solutions to improve online checkout across the mobile web. It notes that those merchants who have already enabled either Visa Checkout or Masterpass won’t have to make any changes on their end when the Android Pay support goes live, as their buttons will update automatically.

To use Android Pay on sites that offers Masterpass or Visa Checkout, consumers will first have to link their accounts to the respective services in the Android Pay application. Once set up, you can use Android Pay at checkout along with your preferred authentication method, like fingerprint recognition.

The end goal, similar to Apple Pay, is to make it easier to complete the checkout process when shopping online from a mobile device. You won’t have to enter a username and password, which can be a hassle. The result, in many cases, is fewer abandoned shopping carts and higher conversions on merchants’ sites. This is Apple Pay’s promise, as well; and PayPal itself has been working to make online checkout more seamless through its OneTouch solution, which saves your credentials across sites and apps so you don’t have to keep logging in.

Google isn’t the only one making nice with Visa and MasterCard, as of late. Earlier this year, both companies also expanded their relationships with PayPal, in an effort by PayPal to make its service a more visible option when shopping in-store at brick-and-mortar retail locations. The move was meant to help PayPal gain traction among increasing competition from rival mobile payment solutions, including Apple Pay, not to mention the growing number of stores offering their own digital wallets, including Starbucks, Wal-Mart, CVS, Kohl’s and others.

The Android Pay app will be updated with Visa Checkout and Masterpass integrations in early 2017, Google says. The rollout will begin in the U.S., with plans to expand everywhere Android Pay is available (the UK, Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong).