Google is bringing Android Pay – it’s tap-and-go payment system for Android phones, to Australia next year with support from the banks, unlike its Apple rival.
Officially announced this morning, the service will launch “sometime in 2016”, with no exact date confirmed.
Apple Pay for iPhone launched in Australia last month with American Express as its sole partner and no bank support. We haven’t heard any word yet when more banks will support Apple’s service.
Going head-to-head with Apple Pay, Android Pay turns your Android into your credit card and does so in a much more secure and easier way than existing banking apps do.
It works by using the NFC chip in your phone, the same type of chip that your credit card already uses to make contactless payments with.
To use it, you simply add your credit or debit card into Android Pay then when you want to pay, just unlock your phone and tap it over the terminal. There’s no need to fiddle around in an app like you currently have to if you want to use Westpac or Commonwealth Bank apps. It’ll be even easier and more secure for Android devices with fingerprint readers, where you’ll just pull your phone out and tap it over the terminal with your thumb on the reader.
You will also be able to store your card in the app for online purchases you make on your phone meaning you no longer have to enter your credit card details for every purchase.
Google has partnered with Braintree for this, so online merchants will only need to change a few lines of code to support it. They then don’t have to manage encryption keys or decrypt Android Pay credentials on their servers to capture payments.
Hopefully this will mean faster uptake of the technology with online stores.
Online payment provider eWay is also onboard, so thousands of merchants, including Kogan.com have support from day one.
Not everyone will have a card that is supported, however. At launch only MasterCard and Visa are supported, with Google looking at the possibility of adding eftpos support, but no word yet on American Express.
There’s also a limited number of banks, with some financial institutions still trying to negotiate the percentage of the transaction fee that Google will take – similar to what’s currently happening with Apple’s rival system for iPhone, Apple Pay.
But for now, these are the banks on board, with Westpac and its subsidiaries dominating the list:
– Bank of Melbourne (Westpac)
– Bank of South Australia (Westpac)
– Bendigo Bank
– Cuscal (Including over 70 of their smaller financial institutions)
– ING DIRECT
– Macquarie Bank
– St.George (Westpac)
With a few notable big names missing such as the Commonwealth Bank and NAB, it could give the others a big advantage attracting retail customers if the technology takes off.