The feature will allow making contactless payments using the Android Wear smartwatches that support NFC.
After bringing NFC-based contactless payments feature on Android smartphones in select countries, Google is likely to introduce the same on its Android Wear smartwatches. A latest Google Play Services v10.0 APK teardown has found support for NFC-based tap-to-pay feature for Android Wear 2.0. This will allow users to simply tap their Android Wear smartwatches to make contactless payments at participating retail outlets.
The ‘tap-to-pay’ feature will allow users to pay for goods and services with a simple tap on contactless terminals. The feature is likely to launch with the Android Wear 2.0 sometime next year. While certain Android smartphones come equipped with NFC that supports contactless payments, the feature had been missing from the wearables software till now. The tap-to-pay feature is already available on Apple Watch and Samsung’s Gear S3.
The first Android Wear smartwatch to come equipped with NFC was the Asus ZenWatch. Launched in 2014, the smartwatch did not offer the ability to make contactless payments. It has been two years since the launch and we are yet to see the feature arriving on even the most premium of Android Wear wearables. The teardown of Google Play services v10.0, carried out by AndroidPolice, indicates that it is the first time that there is concrete evidence of the feature being under development and testing.
Earlier this year, some “tapandpay” prefixes also spotted in a build of Play Services, adding more weight to the speculated addition of the feature to the OS. However, the latest teardown is the most believable. The teardown of the APK build found mentions of “wear” and “tp” prefix and the phrase “yourwatch,” hinting at the positive inclusion of the feature in the upcoming version of the Android Wear 2.0 OS.
With the purported tap-to-pay feature, users will be able to simply tap the smartwatch to a payment terminal and swiftly make payments. However, there are certain lines in the build text that suggests there could be additional steps for contactless payments through a watch, such as authenticating a payment through the smartphone.