Soon enough, you'll be able to tap your Android phone against a contactless payment terminal to buy your groceries or petrol Smaller banks have already been using Android smartphones' near-field communications (NFC) chips for contactless payment for quite a while -- bravo, CUA Redi2Pay -- but Android Pay is a more widespread and more versatile service, and it'll be out in Australia some time next year.
Announced on Google's official Australian blog and at a local launch, Android Pay will let Aussies scan their credit cards and import their secure payment details, and then use their phone as a digital wallet when buying goods or services at a storefront with a contactless card reader -- the same kind as is already used for Visa PayWave and Mastercard PayPass contactless payments. Android Pay can also store loyalty cards and automatically apply them to purchases, and can be used as a digital credit card credentials locker for access by apps like Airbnb or Uber.
The in-app payment feature of Android Pay is a new addition, bringing the Android payment system up to parity with Apple Pay, which launched recently in Australia in partnership with American Express. Google has also called out specific retail partners for the launch like Coles, 7/11, Crust Pizza and Telstra, although the service will work at any storefront with the contactless electronic payment terminals that are now widespread.
In a statement, Google Australia managing director Maile Carnegie said that the adoption from banks was impressive, and suited Australians' early tech adoption habits: "Australians are some of the fastest adopters of technology in the world, including in their use of innovative banking solutions. It is wonderful to see wide support from the Australian banks and the industry for Android Pay, meaning you will be able to use your Android smartphone as a way to buy things when you're out and about."
Australia's biggest banks like ANZ, Macquarie Bank, St George, ING Direct and Westpac, are on board, too, as are payment providers Braintree, First Data, Stripe and eWAY. Credit card provider Cuscal, which issues credit cards and covers payment processing for over 70 different financial institutions, will join the others in allowing payments through Visa and Mastercard credit cards, as well as via EFTPOS, through Android Pay.
From next year, you'll be able to use your Android smartphone to buy things while out and about, with Android Pay → https://t.co/cHbr1CbI6x
— Google Australia NZ (@googledownunder) December 15, 2015
— Matt Boss (@Matt_e_Boss) December 15, 2015