Android Pay made its UK debut, but is still missing out on the support from a number of the country’s leading banks.
At launch, Visa and MasterCard cardholders with eight leading financial institutions — Bank of Scotland, First Direct, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, M&S Bank, MBNA and Nationwide – can add debit or credit cards to Android Pay.
But not included on the list are Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland and Santander, three of the UK’s major banks. Customers of the three banks will not be able to upload their cards to Android Pay, and then use their smartphones for contactless payments.
Barclays in particular shows no sign of supporting Android Pay, having said that it will launch its own contactless payment service via its banking app. The service is expected in June.
Android Pay users will be able to make tap-and-pay transactions at nearly 460,000 payment terminals in the UK.
In addition to contactless payments, developers can integrate Android Pay for in-app payments.
The UK launch is also a chance for Google to cross swords with arch rival Apple and Apple Pay, which has a head start in the UK since its debut in July last year.
Heading down under
The UK is only the second market for Android Pay, after the US. Google said it will take the payment service to Australia during the first half of 2016, indicating a launch is fairly imminent.
Two of Australia’s big four banks – ANZ and Westpac – will be ready to offer Android Pay by the debut date, said the Sydney Morning Herald.
ANZ and Westpac, including its subsidiaries St George, Bank of Melbourne and Bank of South Australia, will join smaller rivals Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, ING Direct, Macquarie Bank and Cuscal in enabling their users to upload their Visa and MasterCard debit and credit cards to Android Pay.