Google has today announced the launch of its contactless smartphone payment system Android Pay in Australia, providing a new way to pay for just about anything without needing to grab your wallet.
“We truly believe that we’re at a tipping point in Australia, where we can get mass adoption of mobile payments”, Google’s senior director of product management Pali Bhat tells Fairfax Media, noting that 60 per cent of Australians already make payments with a contactless card.
Mobile payment solutions for phones are already offered by Apple, Samsung and some individual banks, but Google believes Android Pay differentiates itself with its ease of use.
Because the system is baked directly into Android, there’s no need to open a special app every time you want to pay. After you’ve downloaded the Android Pay app and added your details, unlocking your phone is all you need to do to allow it to function as if it were your card.
This also means you don’t need to remember a PIN, create a strong password or do anything new to authenticate the transaction, as the phone’s ability to make payments is secured by the number, pattern or fingerprint you already use.
Retailers won’t have to specifically opt in to Android Pay, as you can wave your unlocked phone over any existing contactless terminal to make a purchase.
“If you [usually] walk into a Coles and you tap with your supported card, then you can just tap and pay with Android Pay and it works”, Bhat says.
At launch, a ‘supported’ card means one with contactless payment functionality, issued by one of the participating banks which include ANZ, American Express and Macquarie. Only banks using cards powered by Visa or American Express are currently on the list, with more banks — plus MasterCard and EFTPOS capabilities — coming soon.
Android Pay will also be appearing soon in some apps that you use to make purchases. Rather than logging in to your PayPal account or entering your credit card number, a payment can be made by simply hitting the Android Pay icon.
Apps that are already on board to implement the feature include Dominos, Deliveroo, Catch of the Day, Menulog and Kogan. Bhat says any app is free to offer Android Pay functionality. He expects it to become a popular option because, since Pay is already a part of Android, app developers can implement it with “literally 10 lines of code”.
Of course Android Pay makes use of industry standard tokenisation, so the merchant or app-maker never has access to your card number.
Full list of participating banks at launch:
CAPE Credit Union Limited
Central West Credit Union Limited
Community First Credit Union
First Option Credit Union
Goulburn Murray Credit Union Co-Op Limited
Holiday Coast Credit Union Ltd
Horizon Credit Union Ltd
Intech Credit Union Limited
Laboratories Credit Union Limited
Mystate Bank Limited
Northern Inland Credit Union Limited
QT Mutual Bank Limited
Queenslanders Credit Union Limited
South West Slopes Credit Union Ltd
Teachers Mutual Bank Limited
WAW Credit Union Co-Operative Limited
Woolworths Employees’ Credit Union Limited
Wyong Shire Credit Union Limited
Bank Of Sydney
Sydney Credit Union Ltd
Beyond Bank Australia