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Best alternatives to Android Pay

Martyn Casserly | April 7, 2017
One of the most useful additions to Android in recent years has been the ability to purchase items in stores using tap and pay

mobile payment choices

You've probably seen plenty of iPhone users waving their handsets in front of pay points at coffee shops, restaurants, and high street retailers to make their purchases with Apple Pay. Those of an Android persuasion can do just the same with a number of different apps.

We've gathered together the best alternatives to Android Pay so you can tap and pay, collect your loyalty rewards, or keep your travel tickets close at hand, all on your Android smartphone.


How do I use my Android phone to pay for things?

One of the most useful additions to Android in recent years has been the ability to purchase items in stores using tap and pay.

There are a number of apps that offer this feature, but they do require that your device has NFC capabilities to work with the contactless payment points. So, before you begin please check online to see if your particular unit meets these specifications.


Android Pay

The main app for Android users is Google's own Android Pay. This replaced Google Wallet a while back, and offers an easy to use solution for settling up at the till without the need to look for your credit card.

You can use the app wherever you see the contactless payment symbol, and for purchases under £30 you don't even need to unlock your phone. If you have a compatible Android Wear 2.0 watch then that can also be used as a payment device.

Before spending can begin, the app requires a compatible credit or debit card to be added. Most UK banks now offer Android Pay, and we hope that the remaining holdouts will soon acquiesce (we're looking at you Co-Op).

Android Pay also allows you to add many of your high street retailer loyalty cards, meaning you won't have to carry a wallet full of plastic anymore, plus you can use it on the London Underground.


Samsung Pay

While Samsung Pay has been available in the US since September 2015, it is yet to materialise in the UK. Current rumours suggest the end of April 2017 is the likely date, to coincide with the release of the Samsung Galaxy S8, but this hasn't been officially confirmed.

Expect it to be along the same lines as Android Pay, and although the name suggests fealty to Samsung devices, it seems that the app will be freely available in the Google Play Store for owners of handsets bearing other banners.


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