LIVE FROM MONEY 2020 EUROPE, COPENHAGEN: Spencer Spinnell, Google’s director, emerging platforms, dropped a few clues about the rollout schedule for Android Pay in Europe, while acknowledging the search giant’s past failures in mobile payments.
The company announced two weeks ago that its payment service is coming to the UK “in the next few months”, in what will be its European debut.
On other destinations, Spinnell was coy but did reveal the criteria that Google is using when deciding an Android Pay market. These include high penetration of Android and high end devices, as well as where Google can add value to merchants and there is a strong take-up of contactless technology.
Australia has a high adoption of contactless payments, a contributory factor to why Android Pay will be launching there in the first half of this year.
Finally, Google looks at the “appetite and readiness” of financial institutions when deciding on its next market for Android Pay, said Spinnell, who was frank about past mistakes. “We had many attempts, some of which failed, in mobile payments.”
Notably, the forerunner of Android Pay, Google Wallet, failed to take off, making Google more cautious about building an ecosystem ahead of its next crack at the payments market.
However, differentiating Android Pay from rivals Apple Pay and Samsung Pay is crucial to making the latest attempt a success.
“The secret sauce for us is simple: we are resident and built into Android.”
Meanwhile, Samsung claims something similar about owning the hardware on its Android devices.
Spinnell also talked up the openness of the Android payment platform, that should be good for partners such as banks. Although, he admitted, “we did not do a particularly good job of talking about what open meant” at its launch last summer.
The idea is that for the likes of BBVA and HSBC, and their customers, it will be a smooth process to add virtual versions of debit and credit cards to Android Pay.