Mobile payment solutions are growing in both market presence and popularity, and customers already have quite a few such services to choose from. Their options are bound to increase in time, and more smartphone users around the world will have the ability to make payments using their handsets as services continue to expand their presence in more markets. In the case of Android Pay, Google’s mobile payment solution, will apparently expand its reaches beyond US shores, and will become available in the UK at the end of March.
Android Pay is a mobile payment solution developed by Google using technologies from Softcard and the foundations of Google Wallet. The service allows smartphone users to pair their credit cards with their handsets and use their devices for making transactions through NFC at point-of-sale terminals, as well as within Google applications. The Android Pay platform was first released in the US last September and remained limited to the US market ever since. However, the good news is that the search engine giant is planning to expand its service in other countries – including Australia – by the end of 2016. Thankfully, despite earlier reports suggesting that Android Pay might land in the UK sometime in the second quarter of the year, a fresh report from The Telegraph citing unnamed industry sources claims that Android Pay will actually go live in the United Kingdom at the end of March. At launch Android Pay will not be the only mobile payment service available in the UK. Apple Pay went live in the region in July 2015, and Samsung Pay is also planned to be launched in the UK sometime before the end of the first quarter.
According to analysis from UK-based research company Kantar Group, in December 2015, 51.9% of the UK mobile market was accounted for by Android devices, while iOS held 38.6% of the market. Judging by these figures alone, Android Pay seems to have the upper hand compared to Apple Pay or, at least, the service appears to be heading towards a successful debut in the UK. Then again, not all Android smartphones are compatible with Google’s mobile payment solution, however roughly 70% of Android devices can run Android Pay and 700,000 or so merchant terminals supported the service at launch.