Google’s Android Pay is out in the wild, but don’t leave your wallet at home just yet.
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Set up: Android users wanting to give this a try need to be running Android 4.4 KitKat at the minimum. Phone also requires a Near Field Communication chip, which are found in most Android phones sold within the past three years. Users can make sure the chip is active by going to “Settings” and tapping “More.” The chip will be listed on that screen. Users can add credit or debit cards to the app by taking a photo within the app or by manually entering in the card number and expiration date. The feature already works with cards issued by most popular banks and credit unions, including Bank of America, PNC, U.S. Bank, USAA and the Navy Federal Credit Union. Compatibility with Citi, Capital One and Wells Fargo is expected within days.
Using it: Once the information is entered into the app, using it is as simple as placing it near a payment station with compatible technology, meaning a checkout stand with an NFC reader. Most compatible terminals will have an Android Pay or Google Wallet logo on them. While Google boasts that Android Pay is available at 1 million locations, you can’t leave your wallet at home just yet. Only a few major retailers are on board and its more likely than not that you’ll have to pay the old fashioned way — with cards or cash. Some participating Android Pay retailers include Walgreens, Rite Aid, Subway, Whole Foods, Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Toys’R’Us and Sports Authority.