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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



Another stalwart in the digital payment realm is PayPal. Its Android app now offers the ability to pay in restaurants and shops, but the participating outlets appear to be small in number.

At the moment these consist of UK retailers such as Runners Need, Snow+Rock, Thomas Pink, Hobbs, Office, and a number of others, but many of the coffee and restaurant chains are absent. PayPal does say that it's adding partners all the time, so maybe this is one to keep an eye on.


Apps for ticket and loyalty cards

If the thought of handing over your bank account details to app developers isn't one that fills you with joy, there are some useful apps that can help.



This free app takes many of its design cues from Apple's Wallet, and offers many of the same functions. You can store your plane and train tickets in WalletPasses, along with concert and event tickets.

All you need to do is scan their bar codes and the app does the rest. It can also import items from your email, and iOS devices.

Loyalty cards are a slightly longer process in that you need to scan their codes, then enter the detail manually. But it's only a matter of giving the card a name.

Sadly there's no obvious option for allocating colours to loyalty cards, so they all turn out purple. Hopefully this will change in the future.


Pass2U Wallet

Another well established wallet app is Pass2U, which again offers the ability to scan in tickets and cards, as well as searching email accounts for compatible items.

The interface is friendly, and you can customise the items you enter, making them easier to recognise quickly.

Pass2U offers support for the .pkpass files (as used on Apple's Wallet) so you can import details stored on your iOS device.

It's a nice app, well thought through, and has enough flexibility to make it a welcome addition to any Android phone.


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