Almost a year since Apple Pay was launched in the UK, Android have now released their own version of a mobile payment system. Surprisingly almost 60% of mobile phone users in the UK use an Android based smart phone, meaning that there are more Android users than there are Apple users. Eager Android users will now be able to download the Android Pay App so that they can start using there smart phones to pay for things in various retail stores and food outlets.
Over the past couple of years contactless payments have become so popular with the ease of use that you can simply pay holding either your phone or your bank card over a card reader for the amount of £30 or less to be taken out of your account without having to enter a pin number. New banks cards which are issued will have the contactless chip inside them so that they can be used with contactless payments at thousands of retail outlets in the country. Some retail outlets have started allowing you to pay for larger amounts this way, but keeping it at a smaller amount of £30 or less is better for security just in case your card or your phone were to get stolen.
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Users which own an Android phone running on KitKat 4.4, launched in October 2013, or above are all developed with a NFC (Near Field Communication) chip which makes them compatible with the Android Pay App, meaning users can download the App and once they have entered their card details they can use their phone as a method of payment in stores that will accept this form of payment.
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Android users will be able to use Android Pay at over 460,000 contactless terminals over the country in various types of retails stores. This will also include the London Underground allowing users to pay for journeys on Transport for London on the tube, trains and buses, by simply tapping the contactless reader which is also used for Oyster Cards. With card details added to the Android Pay App, users can make easier purchases both in store and online, saving time in having to key in your card details for every payment.
Unlike Apple Pay where you have to use your finger print to verify your purchase, with Android Pay so long as the phone is unlocked and your screen is lit up then your phone is ready to tap and pay at each and every contactless terminal. Both Mastercard and Visa will work with Android Pay, however Barclaycard are holding back due to plans of adding a payment option to their mobile banking App which customers will be able to use with a compatible device.
Apple Pay was released at the same time as the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. It was then launched in the UK in July 2015, allowing iPhone users to make payments using an iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s and 5se as well as the Apple Watch. Apple Pay has allowed retailers to get used to customers paying for various products, food and drink with a smart phone. This makes it easier for Android Pay as mobile payments and contactless payments have become established over the past couple of years.
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Apple Pay allows users to link up their iPhone with their Apple Watch so that to make things even more simple customers can pay by just holding their wrist to the card reader and double clicking the side button on the Apple Watch.
Samsung which runs using Android software, has always been in strong competition with Apple so it is with no surprise that Samsung plan to release Samsung Pay later on this year in the UK, allowing Samsung users to make payments using Samsung smart phones. Samsung Pay has already been released in the United States and South Korea and has become a very popular method of payment.
The Future of Contactless Payments
There are various types of people in the world. There are those that like to stick to what they know and would prefer to take out money as they go, rather than pay on a card as they believe this is safer than paying with a contactless card or smart phone. Then you have those that are happy to use a contactless card, but may not feel entirely comfortable with using a mobile phone to make payments and having to add bank card details to a mobile wallet. And finally there are those that will do what they can to keep up to date with technology, investing in the latest smart phones so that they can keep up with certain things such as being able to make payments using simply your phone.
It is without a doubt that the mobile phone has evolved into so much more than it’s original purpose of simply making a phone call. Over the years it will become a popular method of payment, for those that feel comfortable in adding bank cards to a mobile wallet. Technology is advancing to make things in life more simple, with more retail outlets accepting mobile payments of any amount it will mean that the only thing you need to step out of the house with is just your smart phone.