Android Pay to launch in UK in March

Google's Android Pay will launch in the UK by the end of March, according to a report in Daily Telegraph.

The mobile payments service, which allows users to make contactless transactions using near-field communication technology, was launched in the US last year. Any UK retailer or merchant that accepts NFC payments will be able to facilitate Android Pay transactions.

Apple Pay arrived in the UK last summer, while Samsung revealed that its mobile payments service will be available in the country before the end of 2016, having already launched in various markets around the globe.

Data released by the UK Cards Association last week indicated that contactless spending in 2015 – mainly through debit and credit cards – was more than double the preceding seven years combined, with £7.75 billion spent in total. In 2014, £2.32 billion was spent using contactless.

Highlighting one of the reasons the various forms of mobile payment might thrive in the UK, Graham Peacop, CEO of The UK Cards Association, said: "With a contactless payment, you no longer have to fumble around for the loose change in your purse or wallet.

"You can simply pay using a contactless card or with your mobile phone."

Anthony Duffy, director of retail banking in UK & Ireland at Fujitsu, said the move by Google to bring its Android Pay product to the UK was "another step towards the migration of payments onto electronic wallets and mobile phones".

He added: "Following hard on the heels of Apple Pay's British launch last year, Android Pay's decision to launch a payment system is further evidence of how changes in payments is being driven by three key factors – the availability of new, technological driven payment platforms; increased consumer comfort in using non-traditional payment options; and a continued shift to internet shopping."

With a number of high profile retailer data breaches, including the recent TalkTalk data hack which saw more than 15,500 bank account details compromised, cybersecurity is a key concern for many demographics of the UK. If mobile payments and digital wallets are going to gain traction over the next few years, businesses will have to prove that they are secure as well as convenient to use.

"Both Apple Pay and Android Pay have sought to address such worries by deploying finger print technology on their mobile phones," Duffy noted.

"At Fujitsu, we believe that iris recognition technologies, which can be used to lock and unlock phones, offer a higher form of protection. Consequently, we expect this latter security option to be explored more fully by the industry, as it continues to implement its twin approaches of deploying state-of-the art security and communicating its risk mitigation approaches to both current and prospective users."

Fujitsu will be exhibiting at RBTE 2016, which takes place at London Olympia on 9-10 March 2016. Click here to register for your free event ticket.

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