Android Pay finally available in the UK, the facts

Manny Pham
May 18, 2016

It’s a bit late but Google’s Android Pay is finally here to make your daily purchases so much easier.

In works in a similar way to Apple Pay, with a simple tap of your Android device you can immediately pay for things without faffing around with your wallet. The advantage Android Pay has over Apple Pay is you don’t have to open an app to activate it. Simply present your phone over the reader and ‘beep’, done and dusted.

Below are all the facts you need to know, to make sure you’re not ‘that guy’ in the queue at Pret a Manger.

Does you phone support Android Pay?

Android Pay thankfully does not require the latest and greatest from Qualcomm or Mediatek to use Android Pay.

The two important feature you need to run Android Pay is an NFC chip and Android 4.4 KitKat. To find out if your phone has NFC go to and check if your Android device has NFC. As for Android KitKat check in your settings and find “About phone” > “Software info.”

No support for Android Wear yet, but with the Apple Watch capable of Apple Pay, you can expect this feature on your Android wearables soon.

Compatible banks

To set it up you’ll have to link your bank card to your phone. The following banks are compatible with Android Pay: Bank of Scotland, First Direct, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, M&S Bank, MBNA and Nationwide Building Society.

If you’re on Barclays, Natwest or Santander you’re out of luck but they could be included at a later date.

Where can I use it?

Anywhere that supports contactless payment is compatible. Retailers include: Aldi, Boots, KFC, McDonalds and Starbucks amongst many.

Android Pay also works in apps, so you’ll be able to pay directly with Zara, JD and Kickstarter.

You can also use it for trips on the underground. Just make sure you don’t rinse all of your battery playing Colour Switch…

Currently TfL  do not have any counter-measures for customers who run out of battery mid-journey.

Payment limit

Any transaction under £30 is eligible for quick contactless payment with no authentication required.

Android Pay allows you to carry out transactions up to £100, but over £30 requires you to enter your pattern, pin or fingerprint.


Your bank card details are not shared with retailers thanks to Visa’s token scheme. Your bank card will be linked to a Visa token, created upon linking with Android Pay.

It makes things really convenient. If you were to lose your phone you won’t have to cancel your bank card. Simply cancel the token linked with your bank card.

Should you use it?

For sheer convenience yes. It frees up the need to carry cash and cards with you all the time, plus it’s free so why not?

For more news, visit What Mobile’s dedicated news page

About the Author

Share this article