Android Pay is coming to the UK for the first time in the next few months, in a move that will galvanise the still nascent mobile wallet space in the region. Many of the UK’s banks are already on board, with Halifax, Lloyds, First Direct, Bank of Scotland, Nationwide, M&S Bank and MBNA already signed up for the launch.
Customers at participating banks will be able to make payments using their phones anywhere that accepts contactless payments. On the retail side, high-profile high street names are jumping on board with supermarkets and food-related businesses leading the way from baker-come-sausage roll empire Greggs and KFC to Pret, Costa, Starbucks and Waitrose to Aldi. Customers can also pay in apps using the service, with the likes of HotelTonight, Deliveroo and Kickstarter also on board.
Transport for London (TFL), which already supports Apple Pay and is playing an important role in driving contactless payments on public transport will also support Android Pay.
The key to traction is ubiquity and Google needs developers to be building Android Pay into apps to help drive adoption across the mobile web. To that end it’s teamed up with payments platforms, processors and providers in the US and UK ranging from Adyen and Braintree to Klarna, Stripe, WorldPay and First Data.
The firm says Android Pay is growing “steadily” in the US, with 1.5m new registrations per month – though it doesn’t offer any insight into how many people are actually using it.
The announcement means that Samsung’s own mobile payments service, Samsung Pay, will be the last of the big three tech companies to make its way to Britain’s shores. The South Korean electronics giant revealed earlier in the year that it will start expanding on a global scale beginning with China in March, followed by Australia, Brazil, Singapore, Spain and the U.K. later in the year. Additionally, Canada will be added to the new launch roadmap.
Amazon have recently launched their new in-store innovation service, Amazon Go.
Google's Android Pay is getting into the festive spirit in the UK by introducing some Christmas rewards on its payment app. It also announces better interaction with Transport for London and Uber.
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The American tech giant has launched its mobile payment service, Apple Pay, in Spain, partnering with Mastercard, Carrefour and American Express.
Payment terminals have stayed the same over the last 10 years, with steady advances in contactless and mobile wallet transactions. Retailers and brands are making a conscious effort to get closer to consumers.