Android Pay is already available in both the United States and the United Kingdom, however, it is only but making its debut in Asia.
This is great news for a continent that is proving to be a future-proof destination for many mobile technologies. Apparently, the service will first hit Singapore before making its way to other regions. Just like in the U.S. and the UK, Android Pay users in Asia will be able to link their MasterCard and VISA cards to this contactless smartphone payment system, but as for now, the only Singaporean banks that support the system are only six, with the major ones being Standard Chartered and DBS.
One would be asking why Singapore? Well, it happens that this Asian country has one of the most established retail sectors as well as among the best smartphone penetration rates in the region, Google’s Chief Director of Product Management, Pali Bhat, notes.
There are no changes in the basic requirements needed to use Android Pay. For starters, the service is only compatible with Android phones that are based on Android KitKat OS. In addition, it is mandatory that the device in question have support for near field communications (NFC). With this in place, users will be able to make payments for products and services by simply placing their phones over an NFC-enabled payment terminal.
Samsung Pay and Apple Pay use the same logic, where people only have to tap on their phones to make a payment. This eliminates the need for one to get into their wallet to bring out a credit or debit card for making a purchase. There is also no need for looking for balances after making payments like with the case of using cash.
Getting started with Android Pay
It’s very easy to start using Android Pay on your phone. All you need to do is download and install the app for free from the Google Play Store. Once this is done, link the cards you wish to use through a simple on-screen process and when done, you will now be able to choose the default card (in case you have added more than one) to be used for making payments.
When making a payment, all you need to do is wake up the phone and tap it on the NFC terminal. That’s it! The transaction will then be completed after you have authenticated it using either a passcode or fingerprint.
Interestingly, Android Pay will soon be taking over the role of Google Wallet, which was essentially useful when it comes to making in-app payments. Apparently, the new service will be available in the coming months, but there is no specific release date.
The competition for the same Asian market is only but heating up since the likes of Samsung Pay and Apple Pay have already availed their services here. The fact that Android Pay depends on NFC chips will also mean that the service remains exclusive to users of flagship devices since volumes of low and mid-range Android devices that are available in Asia come without these chips installed.