Images posted online of internal documents for employees of McDonald's indicate the fast-food company is getting ready for a Wednesday launch of Android Pay. Google announced the coming release of its mobile payment system in May, noting that it will allow Android device-based purchasing at more than 700,000 store locations across the U.S.
In addition to McDonald's, other stores expected to accept Android Pay will include Best Buy, Panera Bread, Subway, Toys 'R Us and Walgreens. Online businesses such as Etsy, Groupon, Lyft and Uber are also set to enable in-app payments using Android Pay.
Recent posts on both Android Police and Reddit show photos of notices apparently intended for employees of McDonald's with the news that customers will be able to begin using Android Pay for purchases on August 26. The notices also erroneously mention that purchases via Samsung Pay will begin on August 21. Originally set to launch in the U.S. this summer, Samsung's mobile payments system is now expected to roll out on September 28. Samsung Pay went live in South Korea on August 20.
We reached out to Google for confirmation, but a spokeperson told us, "We don't have a launch date to announce yet."
Apple Pay Big with Watch Owners
Android Pay and Samsung Pay will likely drive even faster growth in mobile payments, which began taking off last fall with the launch of Apple Pay. Apple gained even more momentum for its system with the April debut of the Apple Watch, which also enables mobile payments.
Some 80 percent of Apple Watch owners in the U.S. have so far used Apple Pay, according to a report last week from the wearables-focused research firm Wristly. By comparison, various reports show that usage of the payments system on the iPhone 6 stands at between 15 percent and 20 percent.
"Apple Pay has the potential to become a strategically important payment method," Wristly noted. "This would also suggest that as the Watch gains market share it will have a significant impact on the payments processing industry."
Mobile Payments Set To Double
All three mobile payment systems -- Android Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay -- use, or will use, near-field communication (NFC) for contactless payments. According to Apple, contactless payments provide a faster and more secure payment alternative to the magnetic-stripe-based card system used by the vast majority of retail outlets.
Mobile payments worldwide are set to reach $1 trillion by 2017, an increase of 124 percent from the 2015 estimate of under $500 billion, according to analyst firm IDC.
The addition of mobile payment options for users of Android phones is likely to help drive much of that growth, as the number of Android users far outweighs the numbers of iPhone and Apple Watch users. Speaking at the Google's I/O developer conference in San Francisco earlier this year, Sundar Pichai -- recently named as the company's new CEO -- said there are now 1 billion Android users in the world and 80 percent of phones now run Google's mobile OS.