By Michael Moore
Google’s Android Pay will go live in March, according to reports, as the company seeks to compete with Apple Pay in the mobile payments space.
The Telegraph claims that Google is set to announce that Android Pay will be available in Britain from the end of next month as it looks to increase the global presence of the service.
Android Pay launched in the United States last September, where it opened for use in around a million stores in the country.
The system works with all NFC-enabled Android devices (running KitKat 4.4 and above) and supports credit and debit cards from the four major payment networks: American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa, so should be easy to port over to the United Kingdom.
The launch is another sign that the United Kingdom is one of the world’s leading markets when it comes to the adoption of next-generation payment methods.
The use of mobile payments, spurred on by Apple Pay usage across the country, has soared in recent months, with a recent MasterCard study finding that one in four British consumers said that they expected to make a payment with their mobile in the next year.
Recent reports from TfL, one of the most popular use cases for mobile payments, found that the average number of journeys made using mobile devices has increased from 7,500 a day to more than 35,000. Overall, more than 200,000 unique devices were used to make TfL trips over the past six months, a rise of over 360 percent since Apple Pay’s launch in the United Kingdom last July, which the report suggests was a major driver behind the growth.
However, some United Kingdom banks have remained slightly hostile to Apple Pay, with Barclays still yet to launch support for the service, having only indicated that this will launch sometime in April.