Mobile wallet wars to hit UK – Google’s Android Pay to take on Apple Pay

23 Mar 2016

Google is getting set to rock the Apple cart by bringing Android Pay to the UK

Google plans to bring Android Pay to the UK in the coming months where it will compete with rival smartphone wallet Apple Pay.

Android Pay allows any device running Android 4.4 or higher and fitted with an NFC chip to enable contactless payments at point-of-sale terminals in retail outlets.

The new service, which is already available in the US, will support MasterCard and Visa.

UK banks that have signed up to support the new mobile wallet include Bank of Scotland, First Direct, MBNA, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds, M&S Bank and Nationwide.

‘Android Pay has been growing steadily in the US with 1.5 million new registrations happening each month’

Banks that have yet to sign up include Santander, Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays while American Express has also yet to join the fray.

Retailers ready to support the mobile wallet include Boots, Costa Coffee, KFC, Starbucks, Transport for London and Waitrose.

Android Pay will also work with retail apps like JD Sports, Deliveroo, YPlan, Loungebuddy, 1800 Flowers and Hotel Tonight.

“Android Pay has been growing steadily in the US with 1.5 million new registrations happening each month,” said Pali Bhat, senior director of Product Management at Google.

“You can now tap and pay in millions of physical locations, including Best Buy, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, and Rubio’s in addition to using Android Pay in more apps like Eat24, Eventbrite, and Ticketmaster.”

The news means Google has stolen a march on Samsung which is also due to launch its Samsung Pay service in the UK.

Google is also planning to launch Android Pay in Australia before the end of June.

But by the time Google launches Android Pay in the UK, Apple Pay will have already had a full year’s head start.

Mobile wallet image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years