Android Pay launches in UK, one year after Apple

Android Pay

After a seven month wait Google has now brought Android Pay to the UK, meaning you can finally use your Android phone to pay for your coffee in the morning.

Any phone that runs Android 4.4 KitKat and above and has NFC connectivity can harness the power of Android Pay.

You'll need to be with a participating bank though, with options limited to Bank of Scotland, First Direct, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, M&S Bank, MBNA and Nationwide Building Society for now.

NatWest and Santander have confirmed to techradar support will come at a later date, while those with Barclays can use the bank's own contactless payment app instead.

Android Pay has a number of partners in the UK, but the truth is you can use the service in any store that supports contactless payments at the till.

Quick and easy

Google was beaten to the punch on mobile payments by Apple Pay in the UK, which was released a full year before the release of Android Pay.

It will be interesting to see how consumers react to the possibility of using their Android phone to use a feature that has exist on Apple phones for quite some time.

Earlier this year Google launched a public trial - in Silicon Valley, of course - for a system called Hands Free, which will allow you to make payments by just saying "pay with Google".

There's no word on the system coming to the UK yet though and a full rollout probably won't happen for quite sometime.

In the meantime, get yourself set up on Android Pay by download the app from the Google Play Store. Just remember you will be using real life money before you get carried away with swiping on every reader in sight.

  • Everything you need to know about Android Pay in the UK
James Peckham

James is the Editor-in-Chief at Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.