Google Tackles Apple Pay With Plaso

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 in the world.

Looking to cut into Apple's profits, Google is developing 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, 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.

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Michael Justin Allen Sexton is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers hardware component news, specializing in CPUs and motherboards.
  • canadianvice
    I'd have adopted Google Wallet if any effort was made to roll it out in Canada.
    This one is squarely on you, Google, not some bad product catch-up.
  • bombebomb
    What gets me if this is not new technology, yet everyone wants it now.
  • SnakeV943
    Be prepared to have your data mined. This reason is why CVS and Walmart as examples don't allow ApplePay. Apple won't allow the stores to mine your personal data when you make a transaction for marketing purposes and to sell to 3rd parties. Really think Google is say the same thing? I love ApplePay. I avoid stores that don't accept it as much as possible.
  • blackout813
    Are we really this lazy? We can pull the metal and glass phone from our pocket to pay, but we cant pull the plastic card from our wallets? Cant data mine a plastic card. Some things are better when they are not broadcasting a signal with such important information.
  • gregor
    One minor problem for Google will be NFC technology.
    Ummm how so? NFC had been around for quite some time before Apple decided to include it in their phones. As for the number of phones which support NFC on either platform only the 6 and 6 Plus have NFC AFAIK. If its not a problem for Apple, I dont think it would be a problem for Google.
  • erickmendes
    @gregor the problem is that the entry level phones, which are the ones that make the gross of the market, mainly in developing countries, doesn't include NFC, and the renewing cycles of those users are slower too.

    @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.
  • mitch074
    The interest of NFC is in not having to pull out something other than your smartphone from your pocket; many do have their smartphone in hand. However, considering how weak NFC's security is, personally I don't use it. Remember that security is inversely proportional to ease of use - never mind what Apple may be saying. The very lack of a secondary verification system is, to me, completely absurd.
  • segio526
    This article is all over the place. You say that NFC is a problem for Android phones and then you go on to say that most Android phones now have NFC. Only two iPhones have NFC, both are new and high end. Every Android flagship and most mid-range Android handsets over the past few years have NFC, as early as 2010 with Nexus S!

    @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!
  • hoofhearted
    Stuff like this wants me to just stay away from any form of NFC until it's proven itself for many more years.
  • tntom
    @segio526 +10 totally agree with what you have said. Only a few iOS devices support Applepay.

    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)