A new mobile payments service is on its way as Google has unveiled plans to launch Android Pay in the UK.

Android Pay will enable consumers to “tap and pay” with their Android devices at nearly 460,000 payment terminals in UK shops, with more locations being added.

The technology, which launched in the United States in 2015, has extra layers of security, as credit or debit card details are never sent with a payment, and the system also allows users to track their last 10 transactions, making it easier for them to monitor their purchases.

When Android Pay launches later this year, people will need to add their eligible cards to the Android Pay app, then pay at retailers where contactless payments are accepted.

To make payments using Android Pay, consumers need to unlock their phone and place it near a contactless terminal, meaning they no longer have to fumble through their wallet for loose change or hand over a card at the till. Some retailers also add loyalty points at the checkout.

Android Pay being used in the US
(Jeff Chiu/AP)


Pali Bhat, senior director of product management at Google, said: “Soon people will be able to use their Android device to pay at the hundreds of thousands of contactless payment terminals in the UK.”

MasterCard will be on board with the scheme. MBNA, HSBC, First Direct, Lloyds Banking Group and Nationwide Building Society have also confirmed plans to bring the service to their customers.

MBNA chief executive Ian O’Doherty said: “With more mobile wallet options becoming available, more card issuers participating and more merchants updating their payment terminals, it’s an exciting time as we see consumer confidence in contactless payment growing.”