Today Google has announced the launch of Android Pay in Belgium, which has now become the tenth country where the company's mobile payment solution has been made available thus far. Starting today, Android smartphone users in Belgium can make in-store payments using their devices at more than 85,000 retail locations throughout the country, including shops like McDonald's, Carrefour, Media Markt, Medi-Market, H&M, and Quick.
At the moment, Android Pay in Belgium is compatible with MasterCard and VISA credit cards issued by BNP Paribas Fortis, Fintro, and Hello bank. However, Google claims that support for debit cards from the aforementioned card issuers as well as banks including CBC/KGC "will be coming soon". In order to ensure wider compatibility with Android Pay in the country, Google teamed up with a handful of leading payment platforms, tech providers, and processors, including Braintree, Stripe, First Data, and CyberSource. However, as far as end users are concerned, Android Pay is compatible with a wide variety of Android smartphones, as long as they operate under Android 4.4 KitKat or higher and take advantage of NFC connectivity. Eligible Android smartphone users in Belgium can make use of the new service by downloading the Android Pay application from the Google Play Store on their phone, and link an eligible MasterCard and/or Visa credit card from the aforementioned banks/credit card issuers. Android Pay not only gives users in Belgium the possibility to pay contactless at over 85,000 point-of-sale terminals but also allows customers to purchase online via supporting applications including Deliveroo, TransferWise, Fancy, Vueling, Hotel Tonight, Sit, Uber, Touchnote, and Showroomprive.com, with the list of supporting apps continuing to expand.
Android Pay was first released on September 10, 2015, in the United States, and the service continued to expand throughout 2016 in eight additional countries including the United Kingdom, Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, Poland, New Zealand, Ireland, and Japan. Belgium is now the 10th country to support Android Pay, and the first region to accept the service in 2017. However, by the end of the year, Google is also expected to widen the availability of Android Pay into Russia, and will hopefully announce their plans for expansion into more regions throughout the rest of the world.