Google has announced that it is to launch its Android Pay mobile payment service in the UK within the “next few months.” The service will launch with support from MasterCard, Visa and eight UK financial institutions. Barclays, one of the UK’s “big four” banks and an NFC mobile payments pioneer, is a notable absence from the list.
Supporting banks will include Bank of Scotland, First Direct, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, M&S Bank, MBNA and Nationwide Building Society, “with new banks being added all the time,” according to Google.
A second “big four” UK bank — Royal Bank of Scotland Group which includes NatWest, Ulster Bank and Coutts as well as Royal Bank of Scotland itself — is also missing from the list of participating banks.
Barclays was also absent from the list of financial institutions supporting Apple Pay when Apple announced it would be launching its mobile payment service in the UK in July 2015. Barclays is yet to go live with Apple Pay but is expected to do so soon.
“You will be able to use Android Pay everywhere contactless payments are accepted, including your favourite places at which to shop and eat every day, such as Boots, Costa Coffee, Waitrose and more,” Google says.
“You can also tap and pay as you go across London on the tube, buses and trains using Android Pay with Transport for London (TfL). Android will help you speed through checkout within your favourite apps including JD Sports, Deliveroo, YPlan and more.”
“We’ve teamed up with many leading payment platforms, processors and technology providers in the UK and US to make it even easier to accept Android Pay in stores and apps,” Google adds. Partners include Adyen, Braintree, Elavon, First Data and Worldpay.
Reports that Android Pay would make its UK debut in March first surfaced in February 2016. The service was unveiled during the Google I/O keynote in May 2015 and was launched across the US in September. Android Pay is also expected to be launched in Australia in the first half of 2016.