SAN FRANCISCO — Google Inc. is starting to roll out Android Pay this week, seeking to catch up with Apple Pay and grab a chunk of the growing market for mobile payments.
The Web company, which announced plans for the service in May, has signed up partners including Macy’s Inc., Staples Inc., and Whole Foods Market Inc., according to a blog post on Thursday by Pali Bhat, Google’s director of product management for the new feature.
Android Pay turns smartphones into digital wallets that store credit and debit cards, which can then be used in physical and virtual stores.
The mobile-payments market is projected to top $142 billion by 2019, up from $67 billion this year, according to Forrester Research Inc.
Android Pay users will be able to shop for goods at more than 1 million US locations and in over 1,000 apps, according to Google, which competes with Apple Inc., PayPal Holdings Inc., and other rivals that have introduced digital wallets.
“We’ll be rolling out gradually over the next few days, and this is just the beginning,” Bhat said. “We will continue to add even more features, banks, and store locations in the coming months, making it even easier to pay with your Android phone.”
Google is betting Android Pay will help its smartphones lure more consumers.
Apple Pay is built into iPhones, and Android Pay will be integrated into smartphones running Google’s mobile operating system.
Google’s earlier effort, Google Wallet, has been reoriented to focus on sending and receiving money, the company said.