Google’s New Android Pay system has now been launched in the UK, going head on with its arch rival Apple in a battle over customers’ digital wallets.
The platform, which was first unveiled in the month of May last year and that has been operational in the US since last September, allows all phones that run Google’s Android software to make contactless payments via the shop terminals, on London’s TfL networks as well as for in-app purchases. Handsets that are running on Android KitKat 4.4 or above are set up with NFC chips, therefore users will be able to download the Android Pay app through Google Play store and then link their credit or debit card to the system.
The Android Pay app does not need to be open for making the transaction and payments less than thirty pounds can be made even without unlocking the phone so long as the screen is on. For amounts, which are higher than thirty pounds, the owner has to enter their security code, lock pattern or fingerprint. A unique code is then generated for each transaction, which ensures that the bank and card details are not given to the vendor.
Barclays has confirmed to The Telegraph that it currently has no plans to support Android Pay; instead it prefers to focus on its own Contactless Mobile service. Barclays was also not very keen on signing up with Apple Pay initially, which has been available in the UK since mid of last year. However, the bank finally partnered with Apple last month, which became the last major institution to do so.
The launch is not something that was unexpected, after the marketing material confirming Pret A Manger now has accepted Android Pay appearing in the popular fast food chain’s shops last week. UK’s interesting adoption of pin and chip and the contactless payments in the past few years has made it the main battleground for mobile payment vendors.
United Kingdom is the first country outside the United States to accept Android Pay, although the service is likely to be extended to all the other territories in the next couple of months. More than three billion contactless payments were made in the year to April, 2016, and fifty nine percent of online sales in England are made using smart phones, according to a research from Visa.