back to article Android Pay debuts in UK

Google has launched its contactless payment service, Android Pay, in the UK. The service, which uses NFC chips to enable transactions and integrates "everywhere contactless payments are accepted", comes to the UK directly from the US. It arrives with standard industry security measures for contactless payments. More …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not on rooted phones

    Unfortunately it will not work on rooted phones, or phones with custom roms.

  2. Dan 55 Silver badge

    More information is available on Android's web-page for the service

    Unfortunately that information looks extremely... American.

    1. Tessier-Ashpool

      Re: More information is available on Android's web-page for the service

      The banks in each geographic region probably have to come to an agreement with Google in respect of Android Pay, as was the case for Apple Pay, which is still not available for cards in many countries.

  3. Yugguy

    No NO NO NO NO

    Celland-Jones is frothing with enthusiasm for it:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-36320321

    "Your phone has to have some kind of lock - a fingerprint, or pattern or Pin code - but when the device is on, you don't even need the app to be open to tap-and-pay on a contactless terminal."!

    No, just fucking no. I absolutely do not want my phone questing for terminals to give money to.

    I can't stand contactless cards, let alone phone pay.

    Yes, I am a Luddite, whatever.

    1. Lamont Cranston

      Re: No NO NO NO NO

      To be fair, he froths with enthusiasm about every new development of anything, ever.

      Much as I've said I don't want contactless payments on my phone, if it's just a case of waving the phone with no need to unlock, then it's likely as convenient as current contactless cards, and so the idea is appealing, at least. Security concerns loom large, however (not sure I want all my eggs in one phone, so to speak).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No NO NO NO NO

        I'm sure, "hand on heart", Rory's enthusiasm is not worth any scorn.

    2. ad47uk

      Re: No NO NO NO NO

      Then don't use it, just like i won't, i do not have a contactless card I sent it back to my bank. According tot he info I found elsewhere, my bank and phone will support it, i just hope my bank don't bug me.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No NO NO NO NO

        You don't need a contactless card to use this or indeed Apple Pay.

        Like some others in these parts, I don't have any contactless cards. IMHO, they are insecure. It has been proven that the chip can be interrogated with a device in the pocket of someone standing next to you on the tube/in a queue for a Flat white etc.

        My company Credit Card is setup for Apple Pay (company iPhone). So far I have used it exactly twice.

  4. rjstua

    Just activated here in the UK...

    ...that will save me nanoseconds the next time I buy a flat white from Costa!!!

    1. joshimitsu

      Re: Just activated here in the UK...

      I doubt it - I think phone pay takes longer than using a contactless card.

      I saw a guy faffing about unlocking his iPhone at the train gates - get thousands of these and you could have some slowdown to throughput.

      1. Adam JC

        Re: Just activated here in the UK...

        He obviously didn't read the FAQ... you don't need to unlock your phone, only 'wake' the screen for transactions under £30 - The same as a contactless card requires your PIN for transactions over £30

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just activated here in the UK...

      I think its real value will be when I nip to my local supermarket and realise that I've left my wallet at home but have my phone with me.

      We'll see how useful this will be in a few months/years...

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Just activated here in the UK...

        ... and then you realise you didn't sit down and register all your cards on your phone so that's useless too.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Just activated here in the UK...

          Not at all, I registered a couple this morning. All I had to do was to enter the CVV for the cards already on my Google account. You get a text with a security code to ensure that it's your phone.

  5. censored

    I really don't get it...

    A contactless card is surely more convenient to physically handle, and quicker because it doesn't need unlocking?

    Could someone who is excited for this genuinely answer the question "why?". The only use case I can think of is "I forgot my wallet" which is hardly something that requires a multimillion pound software system to solve.

    1. R 11

      Re: I really don't get it...

      How about, I no longer need to carry my wallet? Of course that requires widespread adoption, but it will come if customers demand it.

      Secondly, there's the security aspect. Frankly I am much less concerned about the encrypted chip on my phone being compromised than I am about a store suffering a data breach and losing my details. With mobile payments a unique credit card number is generated for each transaction.

    2. Patrician

      Re: I really don't get it...

      "Could someone who is excited for this genuinely answer the question "why?""

      Because it could/will save carrying around a wallet with several different cards in it, is just one reason

      Less likely to drop/lose phone than a card could be another

      More secure could be another (okay reaching a little with this one I admit)

      1. ad47uk

        Re: I really don't get it...

        Not all cards would be usable on it, what about loyalty cards? i don't use any apart from a coffee one and that is a bit of card that get stamped, so a wallet is needed for that, still places around that do not have contactless including a large supermarket in the UK, but they are working on it, also there are some places that still have no card machine at all.

        1. Adam JC

          Re: I really don't get it...

          Starbucks, Costa, etc have utilized the Android Pay API to send your loyalty card details across with your virtual account number when the transaction takes place, so it's one less card to have to pull out of your wallet in that sense.

    3. BigAndos

      Re: I really don't get it...

      I'll probably start using Android Pay instead of my Oyster card for TfL. At present I have three contactless cards and my Oyster in my wallet which can make it a bit fiddly at the ticket barrier. I can just set my main debit card up on android pay and I think it'll be a bit quicker for me to get my phone out of my pocket than take my wallet out and fish about for the right card.

      In App payments will be useful too. Again not critical but slightly easier than having to fish out my card each time. Other than that I don't think I see a massive use case for me personally!

    4. steve-b

      Re: I really don't get it...

      The mindless zombies will already have their smartphone in hand, as they stumble along in the queue for whatever commodity they have been programmed to buy by the latest social media fad they constantly check.

    5. Adam JC

      Re: I really don't get it...

      FYI, you only need to unlock your device for payments over £30 - Same as with contactless requiring your PIN for transactions over £30

  6. Cynical Observer
    FAIL

    It arrives with standard industry security measures for contactless payments.

    i.e. wholly inadequate controls to try and reign in what was a stupid idea in the first place

    But more importantly, Google gain even more information on their product users.

    It has been said in the past that the one advantage Amazon had over Google was that the former knew for certain what you actually spent your money on whereas the latter only knew what you searched for.

    I can't help but believe that this will provide Google with that missing piece of intelligence. Sorry but my privacy is worth way more than that!

    1. Patrician

      "I can't help but believe that this will provide Google with that missing piece of intelligence. Sorry but my privacy is worth way more than that!"

      Do you use a debit or credit card to make purchases? If so there already 3rd parties that know exactly what you buy, when, how much you paid and where from.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        The argument that one party has a piece of data therefore it doesn't matter if all parties have it is still, thankfully, flawed.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yes But...

        Giving all that lovely data to google is another matter alltogether.

        They will know even more about you, you habits and vices.

        Are you sure you want that?

        As someone who is invisible* to Google and intends to keep it that way, I won't be signing up for this anytime soon.

        * Searching for me returns no results that identify me.

      3. Cynical Observer
        Mushroom

        @Patrician

        Do you use a debit or credit card to make purchases? If so there already 3rd parties that know exactly what you buy, when, how much you paid and where from.

        Way to miss the point by a country mile! The bank and the retailer know about the purchase - and that is to be expected and accepted. But that does not mean that a third party who is not directly relevant to the transaction has any access to the details of the transaction.

        Why in the name of all that is F$%king stupid would I want to share all of my purchasing habits with a company whose primary purpose in life is to sell highly targeted advertising based on some very advanced analytical data processing. It's bad enough already without being further inundated.

        1. Mr Flibble

          As I understand it, Google will only know how much you've spent and where; not what you've bought.

          I'd give it a trial run myself, but since my phone's running CM13…

  7. dervheid
    Stop

    Another step down the road...

    First they debased the coinage.

    Then they invented paper 'money'.

    They did away with (almost completely now, does anyone still get one?) the pay packet in favour of electronic bank transfer.

    They're slowly eroding 'cash'.

    Remind me again, what's the interest rate at, and for how long now?

    When you only have access to your credits electronically, how easy is it to be made instantly destitute?

  8. Trumpet Winsock IIIrd
    Pint

    TSB

    I've had a TSB contactless Debit card for just over a year now. As an incentive to use the card TSB credit my account with 5% of the monthly spend. The local pub has contactless terminals so the more I drink the more I save.

    ( I think that the 5% incentive is due to expire at the end of this year )

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