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You can win prizes just for using Android Pay in the UK

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Google (opens in new tab) is getting into the festive spirit by offering users the chance to win rewards every time they use the company's payment service to buy something between now and the end of the year. 

Android Pay launched in the UK in May of this year. Since then it has rapidly increased in popularity with people using their smartphones to quickly and easily purchase items in their favourite stores, within apps, with the service also letting citizens of the capital access the tube, buses, and trains on Transport for London routes. 

To encourage even more people to use the service, particularly over the busy shopping period before Christmas, Google is launching a scheme called 'shop. tap. reward'. Through this scheme, every time a UK customer uses Android Pay in store or on the TfL network between now and December 31 they’ll be given a virtual cracker within the app .When you open the cracker you’ll find out if you’ve won one of the 100,000 gift cards Google is giving away over the period. 

A powerful incentive

These gift cards include a £10 gift card for Costa Coffee to cover the cost of your festive drinks, tickets for ODEON cinemas to see the latest Christmas blockbuster, and £500 gift cards for House of Fraser or Currys PC World which should take the stress out of paying for the perfect Christmas gift. 

Obviously the chance of winning the £10 at Costa is much higher than getting your hands on that £500 gift card, but if you’re going to be doing your Christmas shopping anyway the chance of a reward is a pretty good incentive to use Android Pay rather than stick to your ordinary contactless card.

It’s worth giving it a go at least five times anyway since after each of your first five purchases you’ll receive an in-app coin. After you collect all five you’ll be entitled to a free Costa coffee, though chances are at least three of your five purchases to get the coins were probably cups of coffee anyway. 

Google also announced some improvements to the Android pay app which should make travelling to and from the shops a little easier this holiday season. Those who use the app to pay for journeys on TfL will now be notified if they have any incomplete journeys to claim refunds for and they’ll be able to access a summary of which specific stations and bus numbers they used over the course of a day.

Even bigger is that the Uber app will now have an Android Pay option. To celebrate Uber (opens in new tab)is offering Android Pay users up to £5 off each of their next 10 rides between now and December 31.

Emma Boyle is TechRadar’s ex-Gaming Editor, and is now a content developer and freelance journalist. She has written for magazines and websites including T3, Stuff and The Independent. Emma currently works as a Content Developer in Edinburgh.