Android Pay Launches in the UK

Contactless mobile payment

Android users in the United Kingdom will soon be able to use their smartphones to make payments.

The system, which was first launched in the United States last September, should be made available to British users later this month.

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Update: It's finally here!

Android Pay is now available on the Google Play Store in the UK! Anyone with a compatible card from any of the banks below can link their account and start using their phone's NFC technology to make payments.


Android Pay is now expected to reach the UK in the next few months. It will be available for customers of a number of UK banks, including:

  • Bank of Scotland
  • First Direct
  • Halifax
  • M&S Bank
  • Lloyds Bank
  • HSBC
  • MBNA
  • Nationwide

The system will support Mastercard, as well as Visa credit and debit cards. Other banks and building societies will be added to Android Pay 'at a later date', Google said.

What is Android Pay?

Android Pay uses Near-Field Communications (NFC) microchips to transmit small amounts of data between two devices standing a few centimetres apart from each other. If you are looking to get a new Android phone available now are the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the S7 Edge.

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This means that Android device owners will now be able to use their phones in place of contactless cards, and to authorise payment, they’ll only need to tap their smartphone’s fingerprint scanner.

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Of course, it’s very similar to the Apple Pay feature. And just like with Apple Pay, users will have to store their card details in the system first, while existing Google Wallet users will need to update their app before accessing Android Pay.

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Where can you use it?

Users should be able to pay with their smartphones at any contactless payment terminal. Contactless payments are immensely popular in the UK: over 70 million contactless cards are in use across the country, and in London one card payment out of three was contactless in 2014.

Because of this, many more companies are now looking into mobile payment, and Samsung has announced they would be launching their own “Pay” service this year.

Android Pay

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Samsung Pay

Samsung is setting itself apart from their competitors by launching a mobile payment system which will work with non-contactless terminals through the use of magnetic secure transmission.

It’s unclear whether Samsung owners will be able to choose between Android and Samsung Pay, or if they’ll be restricted to only the manufacturer’s system, which is due to launch in the UK this year.

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Do you already use Apple Pay? Are you an Android user? How do you feel about Android and Samsung launching mobile payment systems? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.