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UK welcomes Android Pay

Amid a PR feeding frenzy, you may have noticed that Android Pay launched in the UK.

Millions more people will be able to pay through their smartphones in the latest attempt by

Android Pay mark

            UK welcomes Android Pay

Google to persuade British shoppers to swap real for digital wallets.

Much of the UK has been slow to adopt digital payments, partly because it requires an expensive smartphone with fingerprint recognition and special chips – according to the FT.

Google hopes to make smartphone payments more popular by allowing most Android phones in the UK to use its pay platform. The UK is the first country outside the US to have Android Pay, which was launched last year.

From Wednesday, Android smartphone users can walk into a Starbucks and pay for coffee with a tap of their phone, or into Waitrose to pick up their weekly shop.

Many other retailers, including Pret A Manger and Boots, will also support the system, as will Transport for London, to pay for travel on the Tube, bus and train.

Smartphone users will be able to make transactions up to £30 without unlocking their phone, while transactions of more than £30 will need to be approved using a pin, pattern or fingerprint.

Apple launched a payment service last year but it can only be used with one of the more recent iPhones because of the need for a fingerprint sensor and contactless capability.

There are about 25m-30m active phones in the UK that can use Google’s payment system, according to analysts at IHS, a considerably larger base of customers.

“Millions of people who’ve bought an Android device since 2013 can now pay quickly, seamlessly and securely with just a tap. With even more retailers accepting contactless and in-app payments in the UK, we are only going to see further rise in the adoption of smartphones to pay. It’s one small step towards a cashless future and one giant leap for our move to mobile,” comments Dennis Jones, CEO, Judo Payments.

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