Android Pay, Google’s mobile wallet app, has officially launched in the UK. The service, which allows users to store debit or credit cards on their phones and make contactless payments, is a direct rival to Apple Pay.
Download Android Pay here.
As with its big name competitor, Android Pay uses NFC technology to allow customers to make payments using their smartphones, both in stores, online and on public transport in London.
Get a more complete look at Android Pay with our one-stop FAQ.
Google is using industry standard tokenisation to ensure that security is paramount. That means that your card details are encrypted and never sent when you make a payment. Instead, Android Pay creates a random number in order to make purchases, with notifications sent whenever you spend money.
Contactless payments are capped at £30, although unlike with Apple Pay, you don’t have to have a fingerprint scanner built into your phone in order to use the service. That may well raise security issues among some consumers who remain reluctant to use contactless.
MasterCard, Visa, Bank of Scotland, First Direct, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, M&S Bank, MBNA and Nationwide are all on board at launch, with Google promising to add more partners ‘all the time’. It’s notable that Barclays has not teamed up with Google. That despite the fact that it has just launched on Apple Pay after a ten month delay.
Google is also launching Android Pay Day, a new promotion which will see the likes of Starbucks and Deliveroo offer discounts to Android Pay customers at the end of every month. Android Pay Day is set to launch at the end of June.
Android users can download Android Pay from the Google Play Store now. The app is compatible with devices running Android KitKat 4.4 and higher, meaning handsets bought in the past two years should play nice.