Up until this week, Android Pay was the main way for Android owners to pay for things using their phone, provided your bank permitted it. This week, it’s the same, and yet also different.
When it comes to mobile payment in Australia, the contactless payment world is shaken by smartphones and the support provided by banks in Australia. The technology is clearly there, but whether local players are willing to help customers by supporting it, that’s another issue altogether.
Quite a few banks have embraced the major platforms — the Apple, Android, and Samsung options — while others have looked for something else, going for one option over another.
And up until this week, Android Pay was making a dent in Australia, supported by quite a few banks locally, but not all. While Apple Pay offered compatibility for some banking institutions, as did Samsung’s own flavour, Android was making headway.
This week, however, Android Pay is no more. Sort of, anyway.
In fact, this week Android Pay is no more only by name, as Google updates the app and merges its Wallet and Android Pay service into the one platform, calling it Google Pay.
While Android Pay has a new name in Google Pay, chances are the changes will be fairly transparent, with your cards being the same in the system and the app updating for you the next time you see an update to that app.
And that means the supported Australian banks are also likely to be the same, with ANZ supporting Google Pay across most of its cards, CommBank through quite a few cards provided they’re not American Express and Visa, Westpac in MasterCard and Visa, and banks through a whole bunch of independent banks, including Bank Australia, Bank of Sydney, Credit Union SA, Firefighters Mutual Bank, Illawarra Credit Union, Police Credit Union, Sydney Credit Union, Teachers Mututal Bank, and Unibank, to name but a few.
American Express is also included as being supported, as is Macquarie Bank and ING Direct, though quite a few other players are still missing in action.
That means big players like NAB and St George aren’t supported by Google Pay, just like they weren’t earlier this month.
Aside for a new name, Google’s new app will connect those supported cards across not just the phone, but also instances of Chrome and the Google Assistant, while the app will track purchases, too.
In some parts of the world, Google Pay will even work as a form of tap-on-tap-off transport in the near future, cutting back the amount of cards you’d need to carry with you.
We’ll let you know when that happens, though we’d say a digital replacement for Sydney’s Opal is a fair way away. For now, if you do use Android Pay, just know that your app is about to change, and should connect across more services later on.