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.
Mastercard is working with Stripe to expedite the payment process for American sellers on the latter's marketplaces using the instant payouts feature from Stripe.
Lloyds has launched biometric finger print authentication for mobile banking.
Barclaycard has partnered with Case Station, a company that makes personalised phone cases, to embed contactless technology in the latter's smartphone cases.
Digital challenger bank, N26, which has been live for one and a half years and has more than 200,000 customers, rolled out a new feature that allows its customers to transfer money using Siri. All they have to do is talk to it.