Apple Pay launched late last year and has been successful. It has gained acceptance in some retail stores and has managed to gain the support of the largest banks (opens in new tab) in the world.
Looking to cut into Apple's profits, Google is developing (opens in new tab) a new service called Plaso. Plaso will work in a similar fashion as Apple Pay, running inside of Android. Google will need to be creative to catch up to Apple Pay, however.
Google already has its Google Wallet system setup, but it's never gained great popularity. While it isn't official yet, Plaso and Google Wallet could work together to help speed the development and basic frame work for Plaso.
One minor problem for Google will be NFC technology. Apple has integrated NFC technology into the latest iPhones, which can be used to make public transactions much faster and easier. In addition, the Apple Watch, which will launch in the near future, also has NFC technology. Although some Android devices have NFC, it isn't necessarily something that Google can enforce across all devices.
According to NFCWorld.com, the majority of devices from Google, LG, HTC, Motorola, Samsung, Sony and ZTE, which make up the bulk of Android smartphone sales, have NFC technology included. This is fortunate, because it will minimize the impact of phones which lack this ability and should still allow Plaso to grow quickly.
Square, another company which has a device for taking credit card transactions, is also attempting to regain lost ground. Faced with fierce competition from Paypal, Amazon, Cupertino and others, Square is developing a standalone tablet device. This is mostly in response to Apple Pay, because Square's stand reader device doesn't work well with Android products.
With Apple Pay continuing to grow, it's hard to say if these new products and services will be able to catch up, but it's good to have some competition in the market.
Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.
This one is squarely on you, Google, not some bad product catch-up.
@blackout813 I think it's easier to implement security in eletronic payment platforms than in our old credit card system. If you read about credit card security, there's lots of credit card siphon cases where there's weak security meansures in some smaller banks, like no 2-step verification, and so forth. I prefer to suffer a hack in my google wallet, which seems harder to occur than a credit card siphon that can happen in any street corner.
@erickmendes: Yes, low end phones don't have NFC. That is decidedly a premium feature and since no low end iPhones have NFC, it's a problem that affects both Apple Pay and Google Wallet.
Drives me nuts. Our technology is held back until Apple decides to do the same thing. Google has been working since 2010 to get NFC payment acceptance. They had to battle Credit Card companies, phone manufacturers, retailers, carriers to allow this to happen, eventually dragging them all, kicking and screaming, by circumventing their blocks. Then, four years later, Apple decides they want to do the same thing, and now everyone is crawling over each other to support it! I bet if Apple decided to start its on gigabit fiber ISP, cities and towns would be financing their roll-out and other ISPs would be stepping aside and welcoming Apple into their markets!
Google has spent millions of dollars and years paving the path with negotiations, software development, legal juggling, infrastructure modeling and working with companies who make the NFC chips and Apple walks in with their minor effort and reaps the rewards.
(I admit Apple did much of the work breaking the ground for digital content distribution of music after illegal downloads softened the labels grip)