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PayPal Plans to Support Android Pay

Android Pay users will soon be able to make purchases with PayPal through the app. That means PayPal will appear as a payment option in Android Pay, The Verge reported.

A new version of PayPal’s Android App will let users make payments from PayPal at cash registers equipped with Near Field Communications (NFC), NFC World’s Rian Boden reported. This means the new PayPal app will function like Apple Pay or Android Pay.

“An upcoming version of the app will support NFC starting in the US and Australia later this year,” a PayPal Holdings (NASDAQ: PYPL) press release stated. “Android users will be able to simply tap and pay with their PayPal app at nearly any location that accepts contactless payments in the US and Australia.”

If The Verge’s claim is true, this will Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOG) a major advantage in the payment app wars. Apple Pay currently does not support PayPal, so you cannot use it through that App.

Alphabet has confirmed The Verge claims but did not say when PayPal for Android Pay would be rolled out. It is expected to arrive in the next few weeks which will be a big selling point for Android Pay. Note: there is no mention of PayPal on the Android Pay website.

The Verge did not say whether Android Pay would support another popular solution owned by PayPal, Venmo. Adding Venmo support would be a logical extension of Android Pay and help sell it to Millennials who love using Venmo to send money.

PayPal is expanding its ecosystem by trying to support a number of payment apps including Vodafone Pay, Boden noted.

Is PayPal Coming to Apple Pay?

An obvious extension of PayPal would be Apple Pay support. If PayPal can work with Android pay, it would be a fairly simple next step to add Apple Pay. That would also mean PayPal can work with Samsung Pay which is also NFC based.

This raises an interesting question, will PayPal also try to integrate with quick read (QR) code based payment solutions such as Walmart Pay and Chase Pay. The difference between QR and NFC is that NFC communicates with cash registers via a wireless signal, while QR uses a scan of a code via a camera to authorize payment.

Since Walmart operates around 6,300 stores worldwide but refuses to take NFC payments adding QR code and supporting Walmart Pay would be logical next steps for PayPal.

A Very Smart Move

Integrating with Android and Android Pay is a very smart move for PayPal because Android is the world’s most popular phone operating system.

Google’s phone operating system hand 84.82% share of the global market in 2016, Statistia reported. There were 107.7 million Android smartphones in the United States alone and 1.5 million daily activations of Android phones worldwide. To add icing to the cake there around 65 billion apps have been downloaded from Google Play.

All this means that a massive expansion of PayPal’s ecosystem might be imminent because of the vast market it can tap through Android. That means PayPal might not need Apple Pay, but Apple Pay might need PayPal, one has wonder which side will make the first move. If PayPal’s leadership is smart they’ll wait for Apple to come begging to them.