Google I/O 2016 is kicking off later today, but Android fans in the UK have a different reason to be excited, the launch of Android Pay. There was a somewhat premature launch yesterday, but the service is definitely live today, with the Android Pay app ready and available to be downloaded from the Play Store in the UK. Join us after the break for details on how to set up Android Pay, as well as which banks support it and where you can use the mobile payments system.
After you’ve installed the Android Pay app on a device running Android 4.4 KitKat or above, you just need to follow the prompts shown on the screen. First, you’ll need to make sure that your Mastercard or Visa credit or debit card is actually supported, as shown in the image above. For the moment at least, RBS, Natwest, and Barclays aren’t joining the program. Google has said that more backs will be added as time goes on, with Santander saying that it is working on it. Besides bank cards, you can also add loyalty cards and even gift cards to Android Pay.
The Android Pay app will ask you to enter your card details, which you can do manually or by using your device’s camera to scan the 16 digit number on the front of the card. After entering the expiry date and security (CVC) number, click save and the app will contact the bank to check some details. Once the card has been added, you will then have to verify the card by selecting the card, and then choosing to receive a verification code by text or email. Bear in mind that the code can take a few minutes to arrive, so be patient. Some banks may require you to phone in to verify the card. YMMV.
After you’ve entered the code to verify your card, you’ll be asked to change your lock screen security to a pin number or fingerprint if your device has such a scanner. If NFC isn’t already running on your device, you’ll have to turn it on to use Android Pay. If you have more than one NFC payment solutions on your device, such as Barclay’s mobile payments service, you’ll be asked to choose one as your default Tap and Pay service. An important thing to remember is that Android Pay will not work on rooted devices, so if your device isn’t using stock, unrooted firmware it isn’t compatible.
Now that Android Pay is set up on your device, you can use it where ever you see the Android Pay logo on a payments terminal for amounts up of to £30, which should be enough for a bit of fuel, some coffee, or even a trip on the London Tube.
When paying for a transaction at a compatible terminal showing the Android Pay logo, you just take your device out and tap it to the terminals display, much like you would do with a contactless card. There’s no need to unlock the device if you are under your bank’s contactless limit, just wake the screen and tap. Seeing as it’s still early days for Android Pay in the UK, it might be best to check if the store’s payment terminal is properly set up before being embarrassed holding your phone to the terminal for no reason.
The Android Pay app can also help cut the time used entering card details at checkout time within retailers apps such as Deliveroo, Kickstart, or JDSports among others. How many times have you chosen to pay by PayPal just because you couldn’t face manually entering your details manually?
If you don’t have the Android Pay app installed on your device yet, just click the Play Store link below to get started. Have you used the Android Pay app in the UK yet? If so, how was the experience? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.