Google has no plans to bring Android Pay to rooted phones

Android Pay is here. Photo: Google

Android Pay is here. Photo: Google

Google will want to give Android Pay the best possible chance of competing against Apple Pay, but that doesn’t mean it will support rooted smartphones and unofficial ROMs.

Android Pay doesn’t support rooted devices in the interests of security. With root access, your Android handset is more vulnerable than most, and the last thing you want the next high-profile Android malware to be stealing is your credit card data.

As such, Google has decided not to allow Android Pay on handsets that have been rooted, or are running custom ROMs. And according to XDA Developers member “jasondclinton_google” — who is said to be a confirmed Google employee — that’s not going to change anytime soon.

“I’m a security engineer who works on Android Pay and so this thread struck me particularly hard. I wanted to reach out to you all and tell you that we hear you.” the Googler explained.

“While the platform can and should continue to thrive as a developer-friendly environment, there are a handful of applications (that are not part of the platform) where we have to ensure that the security model of Android is intact.”

One of those is Android Pay, the user added.

“As you all might imagine, when payment credentials and–by proxy–real money are involved, security people like me get extra nervous. We concluded that the only way to do this for Android Pay was to ensure that the Android device passes the compatibility test suite–which includes checks for the security model.”

If your device fails those checks — and it will if it’s rooted — Android Pay simply won’t work, and there’s no way around it. There are no official plans to develop a way around right now, either.

For now, then, you’ll have to decide what’s more important to you. Android Pay or root access and custom ROMs?