Google is preparing for the UK launch of Android Pay.
In a blog post, the company asserts that it has already gathered the support of the country’s biggest banks – Halifax, HSBC, MBNA, Bank of Scotland, and more – and will support Visa and MasterCard payment cards issued by those institutions. The company also says that it has already established merchant support with big brands including BP, Costa, Starbucks, KFC, and Waitrose; and it will enable in-app purchases with organizations like Hotel Tonight, Deliveroo, Zara, and Kickstarter. Moreover, a partnership with Transport for London will allow Android Pay users to pay with their phones when boarding.
Much of this is on the coattails of Apple Pay, which launched in the country last summer and has since continued to try to gain the support of financial institutions and merchants. That hasn’t all been easy, as Apple has faced resistance from the likes of Barclays, a prominent bank whose mPayment support only recently materialized; and it’s worth noting that Android hasn’t yet announced Barclays support for its own mPayment platform. Apple Pay also offers TfL compatibility, though that had its technical hiccups too.
It still isn’t clear when exactly Android Pay will launch in the region, with the blog post referring vaguely to a launch date “in the next few months”. But when it does arrive in the UK, it will be facing off against an incumbent Apple Pay, and likely another major rival in Samsung Pay too.