UK first to get Android Pay in Europe

The mobile payments market in the UK is beginning to warm up as Android confirmed its contactless payment solution will be arriving in the next few months.

Already launched in the US, Android Pay will launch with the backing of the majority of major UK high street banks, according to Senior Director of Product Management Pali Bhat.

“We’re bringing together payment networks, banks and retailers to help you pay simply and securely,” he said on the Android blog. “Android Pay will support MasterCard and Visa credit and debit cards from many of the UK’s major financial institutions — including Bank of Scotland, First Direct, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, M&S Bank, MBNA and Nationwide Building Society — with new banks being added all the time.”

To put Android Pay’s forthcoming UK launch in to context, Android’s current UK market share sits at 52%, according to insights firm Kantar. While there will be a significant market for Android Pay, considering its established user-base, it will face competition later this year when Samsung Pay launches in the UK.

Samsung has designed its own m-payment platform which has seen an initial launch in the US, and will be vying for a slice of the same pie when it launches. Perhaps Android Pay’s forthcoming UK launch is deliberately scheduled to try beating Samsung to the punch, and it’s likely that the announcement of its market entry intentions will expedite Samsung’s arrival to the market. While Samsung hasn’t publicly confirmed a UK arrival date for its payment solution, it did confirm it will be here at some point 2016 when at MWC last month.

Android Pay claims to have a list of household high street names as its UK launch partners, including Boots, BP, Costa, Pret, Starbucks, TFL and Waitrose.

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