The Google v. Apple battle is set to reach a new level on Thursday when Google is expected to introduce changes to its mobile payment products.
Confidential sources told The New York Times, that Google will unveil a service called Android Pay that will help store owners receive credit card payments through their mobile apps at its developer conference on Thursday. Retailers’ loyalty programs will also be able to use the service. Google will reintroduce Google Wallet—first launched in 2011—as a peer-to-peer payment system that allows individual users to send money to each other directly from their debit accounts, a service that’s reminiscent of that provided by the app Venmo.
Google’s plans seem to take direct aim at Apple Pay, a service introduced in October that brought new attention to the mobile payment market. The Times also reports that Apple is expected to announce changes to Apple Pay at its software conference next month.
Mobile payments are anticipated to hit $142 billion in the United States by 2019—up from $52 billion in 2014—but the technology is still bumping up against a nagging problem: credit cards are so easy to use that there’s no huge impetus for consumers to pay with their phones.