Just a few months after the launching of Apple Pay and Samsung Pay in Singapore, Google enters the market with a bang! Yes, Android Pay, the tech giant’s e-wallet platform will be available to users today onwards. The best thing? Latest smartphone models aren’t needed, if you have a phone with NFC capabilities, android version Kitkat 4.4 (and above), you are all set!
To use the service, one simply needs to install Android Pay app using Google Play store, then link the desired card onto the phone via an authentication process. After the cards are linked, user needs to simple choose the default card and confirm various payment settings. Android Pay supports cards issued by five major banks namely, DBS, POSB, OCBC, UOB, and Standard Chartered. Any Visa or MasterCard credit or debit card from these banks would work with the platform. There is no limit to the number of cards that can be added to the platform unlike Samsung Pay’s limit of ten cards and Apple Pay’s limit of eight cards.
To pay, one simply needs to wake her or his phone, without having to unlock it, and hold it towards the payment terminal. For each successful purchase, the user will get a notification on the phone with the transaction details.
When you shop at an outlet, Android Pay doesn’t send your actual credit or debit card number with your payment. Instead it uses a virtual account number to represent your account information. As soon as the purchase is made, a payment confirmation appears that shows you exactly where a given transaction happened, along with the outlet’s name and number. As a security measure, Android Pay users will receive a prompt to enter their passwords before every fourth transaction.
The service stores gift cards, loyalty cards, and special offers as well, eliminating the need to carry them around with you. Once you scan in or manually enter the loyalty or gift card, it can remind you to use it when you’re at the store and instantly display a barcode for the merchant to scan, so you can redeem your gift card balance or accumulate rewards on a loyalty card.
Google also addressed the issue of having two payment systems on one phone, which might happen if you have a Samsung phone that runs on Android. Users will be able to choose a default platform so that only one contactless system is activated when placed near a payment terminal. Who-prefers-what will be depend on utility, convenience and interface of the apps.
Beyond just paying for physical transactions, Android Pay can also be used for in app purchases/transactions. In nutshell, instead of entering your credit card details for individual apps, you can choose to pay for your goods and services via Android Pay.
According to Pali Bhat, Senior Director of product management at Google, Singapore was selected as the third market worldwide after the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK) to introduce its mobile payments offering because of its ready base of mobile-savvy consumers as well as a mature ecosystem.
Google Singapore’s country director Joanna Flint also said that they could not have done it without the immense support of banks and emphasizing the reason of choosing Singapore she told,
It is one of the most advanced mobile nations in the world with the highest level of smartphone penetration in Asia.