Getting started with Android Pay
Android Pay allows you to make payments from your smartphone rather than embarrassingly fumbling around for your wallet or purse while you're stood at the checkout.
It means you can just tap your phone on the contactless reader at the till and not have to worry about using your card or cash.
Plus it's a simple process to set up and use, but you're going to need to make sure your phone is compatible as well as having a supported bank before you can start paying with your phone.
Android Pay is only available in the UK and the US right now, but Google has confirmed it plans to rollout the service to other territories, including Australia, in the future.
But if you're in the UK or US, you'll have access now and can follow this easy to use guide to get started.
1. Check your phone is compatible
Do you have a phone that has NFC (near-field-communication) support? Do you have Android 4.4 KitKat software or higher? If the answer is yes to both of those questions, then you'll be able to use Android Pay on your new mobile.
It means you won't need to go out and buy a brand new flagship phone to make use of the contactless payment software.
Android KitKat is a fair few years old now and if you're not running that software it may be worth checking to see if there's an update.
Here's our guide on how to check if you have an Android update waiting.
2. Does your bank support it?
This is the step where most will likely face issues on their quest for contactless Android payments. Not every bank supports Android Pay and that means that some won't be able to use the service.
In the US supporting banks are plentiful – for the full line up of banks check out this list on the official Android website.
In the UK you'll need to be with Bank of Scotland, First Direct, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, M&S Bank, MBNA and Nationwide Building Society.
Natwest and Santander have promised to support the feature in future while Barclays is offering up an alternative payment app instead.
If your bank isn't included, be sure to keep an eye out in the coming months as Google is bringing new financial institutions onto the service.
3. Download Android pay
If you're on a device running stock Android software, Android Pay may already be ready and waiting on the phone for you to use. You won't need to download it.
Give your phone a quick search and if you can't see the app, head into the Google Play Store to download the app directly to your phone.
4. Set up a screen lock
To use Android Pay properly you'll need to have a lock screen in place on your phone.
Doing this is simple though and makes your phone secure. It means anyone trying to access the device is going to have to enter a pattern, PIN or fingerprint scan to be able to access your data.
To set it up, head into the Settings app on your phone and look for either 'lock screen' or 'security'. Then press 'screen lock type', find which kind of lock you'd like to use and then set it up from there.
If you have the ability to use a fingerprint scanner, we'd recommend it as that's something no one can replicate, making your phone that little bit more secure.
5. Add a credit or debit card
Now it's time to actually set up your card, and we're very close to you being able to spend money from your phone.
If you open up the app you'll be greeted with a screen that includes your Android sign in and gives you the ability to add a debit or credit card. Just press on the plus sign in the bottom-right and you'll be taken to choose a card.
If you already have a compatible card linked to your Android account, you can just authorise it for Android Pay here. If your card isn't linked, just press on the 'add another card button'.
Your phone will then use the rear camera to pick up your card details. Place it on a table in front of you and line the picture up with the card. It should read the details, but if it doesn't work be sure to press the 'add manually' button and enter the details yourself.
You'll also need to verify your card, so choose whether to have a verification code emailed to you, or sent to your phone as a text message.
When all your details are there, you'll have your cards ready.
6. Set your default payment card
This is an important step to make sure you're spending money on the right card. If you only see one card in your Android Pay app, that means it's your default option already and you can skip this step altogether.
If you've added multiple cards though, decide which you'd like to use the most and then open up the Card menu in the app. There you can double tap on the card you want to make a default and press 'set as default card'.
It's really simple, but this ensures you're using the right card when you start spending and don't rack up a big debt on a card you didn't realise you were using.
7. Start spending
You are now all set up and can make a payment with any retailer that has a contactless terminal.
Enter a store of your choice, turn on your smartphone screen and tap it on the reader and you'll be able to make any payment up to US$30 or £30. If you want to make a higher payment, you can just unlock your phone itself and then tap it on the contactless reader.
You'll get a notification when you've paid through the phone, and it should work quickly and simply. Just make sure your phone is on and you'll be away.