How To: Make transactions with Google’s Android Pay

Manny Pham
May 19, 2016

Android Pay is here and its going to make spending your money so much easier. Here is our How To guide to set up Android Pay.

It’s taken a while for Google to finally launch Android Pay in the UK with Apple Pay being made available here over a year ago. Better late than never, Android fans can now take advantage of quick and seamless transactions at retailers supporting contactless payment.

Android Pay is actually quite easy to set up but you need to make sure you have the right device and software before venturing out for a meal deal. Certain major banks currently are not supporting Android Pay, but this could change in future.

Currently Android Pay is only available in the US and UK but Google have confirmed they will be expanding to other territories, including Australia and Singapore.

If you’re lucky enough to live in the US and UK, you can follow our guide to get Android Pay all set up. Beforehand check out our facts on Android Pay.

Is your Android device compatible?

android pay

It doesn’t take a powerful Android device to use Android Pay, but some phones surprisingly do not include a NFC chip to support it. A great example would be the spec heavy OnePlus 2, OnePlus left the technology out due to lack of support for NFC. Things have now changed.

If you don’t know whether your device has NFC or not, have no fear, the Internet is here. Head over to and search for your device in the search bar. Scroll down to ‘Comms’ where NFC should be stated. If NFC is not stated in ‘Comms’ your device most likely does not support NFC.

Next you’ll have to make sure your device is running Android KitKat 4.4 or above. Head over to settings and find ‘About phone,’ where your current software should be stated. If your OS is below Android 4.4 you won’t be able to use Android Pay unless an update is scheduled soon.

Does your bank support Android Pay?

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 13.27.46

UPDATED: Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest, Ulster Bank and Santander are now Android Pay compatible. TSB customers can expect a rollout later this month

Compatible UK banks: Bank of Scotland, First Direct, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, M&S Bank, MBNA and Nationwide Building Society.

Barclays are venturing off with their own Android contactless pay scheme (no it isn’t a card). Check out our review on Barclays bPay.

The list of compatible US banks is gargantuan, you can check out the list on the official Android site.

Download the app

android pay

Devices running stock Android saw an update that downloaded Android Pay automatically.

If you don’t see the Android Pay app, head over to the Google Play Store app and search for it. Download if need be.

Set up a screen lock


Security is a concern especially when it comes to your money. To make things more safe with Android Pay you’ll have to set up a screen lock to use it.

It’s highly advisable to do this regardless if you’re planning to use Android Pay or not. A lesson learned by our very own Thomas Wellburn, who may or may not have misplaced his phone.

To set up a lock screen head over to your settings and look for ‘security’ or ‘lock screen.’ A fingerprint lock is also acceptable, it’s also much more secure as replicating a fingerprint is more difficult.

Add your bank card


We’re getting to the part where it gets real. You’ll be signed into your Google account, after which you can add a bank card by tapping the plus sign.

If you’ve already set up a card with your Google account to pay for apps, you won’t have to add your card as it’ll automatically set up. If your card hasn’t been added or you wish to add another one, select ‘add another card.’

Here is where things get fancy. You can use your rear camera to scan your card, to add all the necessary information. If that doesn’t work you can ‘add manually.’

A verification process comes next where you have to punch in a verification code sent via email or text message.

Set up the default card 


An important step to ensure you’re spending on the right card. If you have multiple cards, debit and credit, you can set one to be your default frappuccino card.

After adding all the cards you want to use with Android Pay, double tap on your desired card and select ‘set as default card.’

A simple step to make sure you don’t accidentally end up in overdraft, incurring expensive charges.

Spend, spend, spend

android pay

Make sure the retailer you enter supports contactless payment. Once at the till simply wake up your phone and you’ll be able to spend £30 or US $30. You can spend over that amount by unlocking the screen, to a maximum of £100 or US $100.

You. Are. Ready. Get yourself out there and grab that hard earned meal deal. Sod it, go for a posh sushi box, you deserve it.

For more How To guides, visit What Mobile’s dedicated Hot To page.

About the Author

Share this article