GOOGLE HAS announced that Android Pay will launch in the UK in the coming months following the promise of a March launch.
Pali Bhat, Google's senior director of product management, confirmed in an announcement that deals have already been inked with Bank of Scotland, First Direct, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds, Marks & Spencer, MBNA and Nationwide Building Society.
Notable absences from the list are Barclays, which took a while to jump onboard with Apple Pay, Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest and TSB, although it's likely that these will fall into line very quickly.
There's no firm date for the rollout of the offerings from any institution, and we're advised at present only to "watch this space".
"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," said Bhat.
"Android Pay will support MasterCard and Visa credit and debit cards from many of the UK’s major financial institutions."
Many websites have also signed up to support Android Pay, including big names like Kickstarter, Zara, Y Plan and Deliveroo.
Delivery mechanisms from MasterCard, Braintree, Global Payments and Worldpay are already aboard, among many other merchants, making it easy to set up vendor acceptance.
Android Pay has grown at a rate of 1.5 million registrations a month since launching in the US last year. US loyalty point operator Plenti has already signed an integration deal, so there's hope for Nectar or similar to reach us at some point.
Tony Prestedge, Nationwide’s chief operating officer, said: “Each month there are 19 million log-ins to our mobile banking app and our members make over seven million contactless payments totalling £56m.
"With Android Pay, Nationwide customers will have even greater choice in the way they purchase goods and services, highlighting the society’s commitment to finding new innovative ways to help members manage their money at a time, in a place and in a way which suits them.”
Android Pay will soon be as much a part of the furniture as Apple Pay has become in its short life. And to answer the most important question of all: yes, Londoners will be able to use it on the Underground. So that's alright then. µ
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