Android Pay will launch in the UK ‘in the coming months’

By Matt Burgess for

Google will extend Android Pay to the UK “in the next few months”, the company has said.

The system, which will let Android users pay for items with their phones, will be supported by a number of UK banks when it launches — with the notable exception of Barclay’s, which also failed to support Apple Pay at launch.

To start with the contactless payment system will support Mastercard and Visa credit and debit cards. The card types will work with the following banks and building societies to begin with:

Bank of Scotland
First Direct
Lloyds Bank
M&S Bank
Support for other banks and building societies will be added at a later date, Google said.

Android Pay works in the same was as contactless bank cards and the iPhone’s Apple Pay, which was launched in June 2015. The method works by placing the phone near a wireless payment point and unlocking the phone.

Before using the system Android users must store their card details within the app and provide a fingerprint scan or password to authorise the payment.

To work with the system Android devices must be running 4.4 or higher and fitted with a a near field communication (NFC) chip. Rather than paying using actual banking details, Android creates a virtual account number to make a more secure payment.

No specific date was given for when Android Pay would launch in the UK, but Google did confirm that it would work both in shops and on London’s contactless transport network.

Android Pay debuted in the US in September and it’s likely that the UK will become the its second market. It is also set to launch in Australia by the end of June.

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