Android Pay takes its battle against Apple Pay to the U.K.
Android Pay, Google’s answer to Apple Pay, is finally expanding to new markets.
Google has announced that the service will be making its debut in the United Kingdom “in the next few months,” and it will launch with support from a long list of banks and retailers.
Contactless payment services are already ubiquitous in the U.K., where almost all banks have been issuing credit and debit cards with NFC connectivity for years, and a large percentage of retailers big and small have long supported them.
According to the U.K. Cards Association, 81.5 million contactless cards had been issued in the U.K. as of January 2016, and over $1.1 billion had been spent using contactless cards during that month alone.
The number of people using mobile payments is obviously a lot less than that right now, but with contactless payments already so popular and so widely supported, it’s only a matter of time before they’re replaced by more versatile mobile devices.
Google now wants a piece of that pie, so it announced today that Android Pay will be coming to the U.K. in the coming months. Its biggest competitor right now is Apple Pay, but Samsung Pay is expected to arrive sometimes this year, too.
Android Pay will be greeted by support from banks like 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.
“You will be able to use Android Pay everywhere contactless payments are accepted, including your favorite places at which to shop and eat every day, such as Boots, Costa Coffee, Waitrose, and more,” the company adds. “You can also tap and pay as you go across London on the Tube, buses and trains.”
Google promises more details — such as a specific release date — in the coming months.