Update: Speaking to TechWeekEurope, Barclays has indicated it has no plans to support Android Pay in the UK. Instead, it would rather continue with its own apps for contactless payment.
“At this stage we are not planning on participating in Android Pay in the UK,” a spokesperson said. “In January this year we introduced a contactless mobile payment feature to the Barclaycard Android app that allows customers with an Android phone to make contactless payments for £30 and under, and at some retailers for up to £100.”
Recently it was rumored that Android Pay would finally land in the UK, and other international destinations, in March. With this month quickly running out of days, Google has officially announced that its mobile payments service will be launching at some point in the next few months. No specific date has been revealed, but, several banks are already onboard.
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While it is disappointing that the March launch rumors didn’t pan out, it’s encouraging to see some clear movement from Google. Customers of Bank of Scotland, First Direct, HSBC, Halifax, Lloyds Bank, M&S Bank, MBNA and Nationwide Building Society will all be able to sign up to use Android Pay as soon as the service is live.
As you’d expect, both VISA and Mastercard credit and debit cards will be supported. It’s worth noting, and not at all surprising, that Barclays isn’t on the list of initial banks. The financial giant has been slow at adopting Apple Pay, stubbornly holding off, and hoping its own bespoke contactless payment services succeed. Clearly, it doesn’t see enabling support for third party options as a priority.
Android users in the UK are already enjoying many great features of Android from Google Photos to Google Play, and in the next few months Android smartphones will become even more useful with the launch of Android Pay. We’re bringing together payment networks, banks and retailers to help you pay simply and securely.
When Android Pay does go live in the UK, shoppers will be able to tap and pay anywhere contactless payment already exists. That list includes the likes of Boots, Costa, Waitrose, McDonalds, Subway and — of course — Transport for London buses and trains. The service will also work in a number of mobile shopping apps from the likes of JD Sports, Vueling and Fancy, among many others.
If you’re in the UK, you’ll be able to make use of Android Pay by downloading the mobile app on to your smartphone, once the service is officially live.