Google Android Pay Works With Bank of America, Discover, Others

Customers of Bank of America, Discover and other financial institutions can link their bank cards to Google's mobile payment service.

Mobile banking

If Google is still struggling somewhat to get consumers and merchants to work with its Android Pay mobile payment service, it certainly isn’t for a lack of trying.

The company this week added more banks to the list of financial institutions whose bank cards work with Android Pay. Starting this week customers of Bank of America, USAA, Discover, Bank of New Zealand, and Poland’s mBank can link their cards to the Google mobile payment service.

Once the one-click setup is complete, customers of these banks can use their phones to tap and pay for purchases and services at any location that accepts Android Pay, Google’s head of payment products Pali Bhat announced in a blog this week.

Like others who have signed up for Android Pay, customers of these newly added banks would also be able to pay for in-app purchases and for purchases on the mobile web.

“This latest collaboration with banks expands Android Pay’s capabilities as an open platform,” Bhat noted. The company will continue to integrate the service with additional banking apps as part of its goal to enable mobile payments globally, Bhat said.

This week’s announcement comes about a month after Google introduced Android Pay in Belgium. At the time the company had noted that Android users in Belgium would be able to use Pay at more than 85,000 retail locations in the country including some of the biggest chains. Counting Belgium, there are now 10 countries where Android users can use Pay for purchases.

Android Pay represents Google’s second pass in the mobile payment space. The company was one of the first to enter the space with Google Wallet back in 2011. But after failing to gain much traction with it, Google introduced Android Pay in 2015.

The app currently comes pre-installed on new Android smartphones that support Near Field Communication (NFC) technology from a variety of vendors including AT&T and T-Mobile. Users can link the app to credit or debit cards from multiple major banks in the U.S. and nine other countries.

To use Android Pay, users only have to ‘wake’ their mobile devices up and hold it against a payment terminal that accepts the payment app. Users do not have to open the application in order to be able to use it at a retail location. Android Pay touts similar ease of use for in-app and mobile web transactions as well.

Although Google has been in the mobile payment space longer than many of its current rivals the company trails behind Apple mobile wallet ownership and consumer preference, according to a report from First Annapolis Consulting.

About 34 percent of Apple users with compatible devices have enrolled in Apple Pay; 27 percent have used it at least once; and 8 percent use it at least once a week. The company has achieved that level penetration in just two years since launch of the service, which is faster than others with similar mobile platform services, according to Annapolis Research.

Samsung Pay currently occupies second spot with 20 percent of users with compatible devices having enrolled in the service. About 6 percent use it at least weekly.

Google is in third spot with 14 percent of Android users who have compatible devices currently enrolled in the payment service. Some 10 percent have used it at least once while 3 percent use it once a week or more.

Jaikumar Vijayan

Jaikumar Vijayan

Vijayan is an award-winning independent journalist and tech content creation specialist covering data security and privacy, business intelligence, big data and data analytics.