Apple has been one big step ahead of Google the past year with its Apple Pay mobile wallet. But, this week, Google has made a serious leap toward catching up, with Android Pay.
You can use Google's mobile wallet Android Pay like Apple Pay, to pay for products at stores, or to pay for apps like Airbnb or the ride service Lyft. It works this way. You save all your banking information, debit card and credit card numbers into Android Pay.
Instead of fussing around with cards or checkbooks, you just hand a cashier your smartphone. Or, just tap or swipe your Android phone past a Near-Field Communication (NFC) reader, to pay for your purchase electronically. You may have used an NFC reader before, if you have a credit card with an EMV chip on it.
Mobile wallets are safe, too. That's because Android Pay and Apple Pay don't share your information with retailers. Instead of giving them your credit card or debit card numbers, they create a virtual account number instead.