From November, it won’t just be iPhone users paying for coffees, beers and Tube journeys with their mobiles. Android phone owners will finally be able to get in on the action.
“Is it Android Pay?” we hear you cry, but the answer is no, no, it isn’t Android Pay – we still have no idea when that’s actually coming out in the UK (it’s already available in the US). Rather this is an updated edition of Barclaycard’s own mobile payments app, which it claims will be the first way to make NFC payments on an Android device. The app will allow users to make payments in over 300,000 UK locations, as well as on the London transport network.
Payments of up to £30 can be made by tapping your phone, or up to £100 when you enter a PIN or use fingerprint recognition. Barclaycard says this will be “the easiest way to make contactless payments using a mobile phone in the market” – presumably because, unlike Apple Pay, it doesn’t require a fingerprint for the lower-value payments (although you can enable that if you want extra security).
The app will also allow users who have had a card lost or stolen to instantly have it “replaced” on their phone. So, rather than have to wait for your replacement card to arrive in the post, you can use it straight away.
The app is available to any Barclaycard UK customer who is registered for online account servicing, and requires a UK mobile phone number. The phone being used to make payments will need to be running Android 4.2.2 or later – and, of course, it’ll require an NFC chip.