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Guide - Android Pay

Android Pay is a phone app that allows you to use your Android OS phone as a contactless credit card
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Android Pay
Android Pay

Android Pay, now known as Google Pay, is a phone app that allows you to use your Android OS phone as a contactless credit card.

Following in the footsteps of Apple, Google launched their much anticipated 'digital wallet' app Android Pay in the UK in 2016. Two years later Android Pay and Google Pay became one, and the service is now known simply as Google Pay. You can link the app to your credit and debit cards and spend wherever contactless payments are accepted.

Compare credit cards

You need a compatible credit card or bank account to use Android Pay - find a credit card you could use with Android Pay.

What is Google Pay and how does Google Pay/Android Pay work?

Google Pay is form of contactless payment using your phone, and a way to manage your finances and have a clearer picture of your spending and savings. When you download Google Pay onto your Android phone, it enables you to pay for goods and services using contactless technology; send and receive money instantly and earn rewards for everyday payments. The app also helps you understand your spending and improve your financial health. You can use it to keep track of where and how you spend your money, and identify areas where you might be able to make savings.

Why use Google Pay?

Since Covid-19 many retailers and outlets have asked people to pay by contactless only and will not accept cash. Paying using your mobile phone is an alternative to using a credit and debit card. For many people it is more convenient because most people carry their phone with them at all times. The Google Pay app allows you to transfer money easily to friends and family, or create a group to send and receive money. This could be useful if you are out for the evening and spend money in a restaurant, or if you have joint bills with other people. You can also take advantage of special offers and loyalty deals. The Google Pay app shows you nearby places to eat and drink, and enables you to order takeaway food. You can also pay for fuel using the Google Pay app at a petrol station. If you are shopping online, as many people have been during the pandemic, you can use Google Pay to check out securely.

Is Google Pay the only contactless phone payment system?

Apple has its own Apple Pay system, which is a payment app you can download onto your iPhone, while Samsung Pay is the mobile payment service offered by Samsung but which only works on Samsung devices. However, Google Pay works on all Android phones. How to get Google Pay You need to download the app from Google's Play Store and install it on your phone. But first make sure you have a compatible phone running an Android Operating System (OS). To make contactless payments with Google Pay, your phone must work with near-field communication (NFC). You can check this via your phone settings.

Read more with our mobiles guide on how to set up Google Pay.

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Which banks support Google Pay?

The app is supported by most traditional and online banks.

How do I add a card to Google Pay?

You need to register your card to your account to be able to spend. To do this you can use the card already linked to your Google Pay account, or manually enter the details of a card. In all instances, you will need to manually renter the CVC security code on the back of your card.

Put simply, you sign into Payment methods on your phone, and click Add payment method. This enables you to add a credit or debit card by entering your card information. You will need to verify your payment method, using by inputting a verification code that will be sent to you via text or email.

How many cards can you add?

You can add as many cards as you like to your wallet, simply select which card you'd like to pay from your 'digital wallet'.

How does Google Pay work?

Google Pay works much like a contactless card. If the till supports contactless payment you can simply hold your phone up to the payment terminal and pay.

Although there is no limit on Google Pay, some retailers may limit your transaction to £45, which is the same as the contactless upper limit for debit or credit cards.

You will typically need to re-enter your pin for every £100 or so spent via contactless payment.

You don't need to open the app to pay, you just have to open the screen. You will be sent a notification of what you have spent and where. It is worth asking for a receipt in case you need to exchange goods or ask for a refund if they are faulty.

Is Google Pay secure?

Google Pay is as secure as a contactless credit card, if not more secure. If you have security passcodes in place to login to your phone your card details won't be accessible.

And should you lose your phone you can change your passcode or delete your data remotely with Android Device Manager.

How to use Android Pay

As with Apple Pay there is a tokenisation system where your phone creates a unique number for purchases. Your card details are encrypted and are not transmitted when you make a payment.

Fingerprint security is available by opening the Google Pay app and going into the Settings menu.

Compare credit cards

You need a compatible credit card or bank account to use Android Pay - find a credit card you could use with Android Pay.