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How to Set Up and Use Android Pay

Google really wants to replace that wallet or purse you're carrying with a mobile app. When it's time for you to pay for your purchase in a brick-and-mortar store, Google wants you to reach for your phone and tap into a mobile payment service called Android Pay.

Android Pay replaces Google Wallet as Google's method of handling mobile payments. (Google Wallet is still hanging around, but now it's an app for digitally exchanging money.) Not only can you use Android Pay to make purchases, but you can also use it to store loyalty and gift cards,  emptying your pocketbook of those plastic annoyances for good.

MORE: Mobile Wallets: Apple Pay vs Samsung Pay vs Android Pay

To use Android Pay, you need to first make sure that the cards you have are supported. Then, it's simply a matter of adding your credit, debit and loyalty cards to Android Pay.

What Android Pay Supports

To find out if your cards will work with Android Pay, check Google's list of supported banks. Google says it's working to add more, so if your bank isn't supported now, that could change in the future.

As for payment-card brands, Android Pay supports Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.

Where Android Pay Works

Google's Android Pay site includes a partial list of retailers that accept the service. And when you're in the checkout line, you can tell if Android Pay is supported by keeping an eye peeled for signs or stickers bearing either the Android Pay or NFC Pay symbols. The former features Google's Android robot on top of the word "Pay," while the latter looks like a sideways Wi-Fi symbol pointing toward a hand with a square payment card.

You can also use Android Pay to make in-app purchases. An Android Pay button appears in apps that support the feature; tap it, and confirm your information to buy something within an app on your phone.

Set up Android Pay

1. Download the Android Pay app from the Google Play Store. The app comes preinstalled on Nexus 6P or 5X phones.

2. Sign in with your Google account.

3. Choose one of the available banking choices for setting up payment information. Your options include adding a credit or debit card, using carrier billing, or adding PayPal.

Add a Credit or Debit Card

1. Touch the floating action button.

2. Select Add a Credit or Debit Card.

3. Capture a picture of your card with your phone's camera by placing your card within an onscreen frame. Make sure the numbers of your card line up with the placeholder numbers on the screen.

4. Confirm the card's CVC number and touch Save. You'll be asked to agree to the card issuer terms.

Android Pay will then verify the card with your bank. If your bank has a verification method, you will need to select the option for receiving a code, such as via an email or text message.

Once everything's verified, your card gets added to your available stack of cards within Android Pay. To make one card your default payment option, tap the card and select Set as Default Card.

Add a Loyalty Card

1.Touch the floating action button.

2. Select Add a loyalty program.

3. Search for the name of the store or company's program you wish to add.

4. Scan the card's barcode with your phone's camera. If the app is unable to scan the code, you can enter it manually.

5. Confirm the code is correct.

Your card will be added to the stack of other loyalty and gift cards.

Once your loyalty cards are loaded onto your phone, Android Pay uses location awareness to provide a notification with the loyalty card barcode so the clerk can scan it. You also can open the Android Pay app, touch the virtual card for your respective loyalty program or gift card, and the clerk can scan the barcode.