Set to rival Apple and Samsung mobile payment offerings
Android Pay is now available in the UK. Google’s Android Pay, set to rival offerings from Apple and Samsung, helps people pay for things simply and securely with their Android smartphones at almost 460,000 contactless payment terminals across the UK, as well as the five million contactless terminals in 77 countries around the world.
This builds on the launch of Android Pay in the US last year, with the UK the first territory that the service is available in outside of the US. New countries will be added soon, said Google.
Owners of eligible Android devices – those on Android v4.4 KitKat or newer – can begin using Android Pay now. can use Android Pay everywhere contactless payments are accepted, including favourite high street stores like Boots, Starbucks and Waitrose, and pay for the Tube, bus and train with Transport for London.
Users simply need to tap their smartphone to the contactless terminal at the checkout, as they would with a contactless card. Additionally, businesses across the country with contactless terminals do not need to do anything else to be able to accept Android Pay in store.
Android Pay will also speed up checkout in various apps including JD Sports, Deliveroo, YPlan, and many more.
Google stated it will also be launching Android Pay Day, bringing special offers each month to brighten the last week before pay day. Starbucks UK and Deliveroo will be among the first to reward Android Pay users in the UK, with offerings to be announced in coming months.
To start using Android Pay users need to download the Android Pay app on Google Play and have an eligible MasterCard or Visa credit or debit card from one of the supported banks, such as Bank of Scotland, First Direct, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, M&S Bank, MBNA and Nationwide Building Society, with new banks being added all the time.
Mark Barnett, president, MasterCard UK and Ireland said: “We are thrilled to be Google’s partner in delivering a safe and secure payment experience for cardholders with Android Pay. As more and more devices become connected and enabled for payments or shopping, we’re committed to bringing consumers the choice and convenience of paying how, when and where they want.”
Security is at the centre of Android Pay. With industry standard tokenisation, Android Pay does not send merchants the user’s real card number when a purchase is made. In setting up a device for Android Pay for instance, MasterCard generates a digital token that is associated with that device and stored on a secure server. There is a separate token assigned to each of the consumer’s devices, which means that not only is the token number different from the ‘real’ card number but it is also prevented from transacting via any other device.
When the consumer uses their mobile device in a transaction, it is the token and not the real card number that is provided to the shop. For consumers and retailers alike, every purchase made with a MasterCard using Android Pay offers all the benefits and guarantees of a transaction with the physical MasterCard.
Android Pay also makes it convenient to keep track of payments and to lock your device if it becomes lost or stolen.
The service will soon be available in Singapore and Australia.