By Stuart Condie
(Australian Associated Press)
Android-toting Australians will be able to use their mobiles as credit cards next year with the launch of Google’s contactless payment service.
While Apple has struggled to attract Australian partners to its iPhone-based Apple Pay, Google has signed up ANZ, Westpac, Coles, Telstra, McDonald’s and others to offer users the option of paying for goods and services using their Android phones.
Google has already launched Android Pay in the US, but Australia will be the first country outside Google’s home market to access the technology.
“Aussies will be able to use Android Pay everywhere contactless payments are accepted,” Google product management director Pali Bhat wrote in a blog post.
“You will also be able to use Android Pay for fast checkout within apps – no more entering your payment or address details every time you want to shop.”
Apple Pay launched in Australia last month with American Express as its lone partner. But without bank support, cards must be directly issued by Amex rather than third parties in order to work.
In contrast, Bendigo Bank, Bank SA, ING Direct, 7Eleven, Domino’s, Gloria Jean’s and Menulog are among those Google says are supporting the rival Android service.
Users will be able to use their phone in stores the same way as they currently use a contactless card: holding it to an NFC (near field communication) terminal to immediately deduct up to $100 from their linked Mastercard or Visa credit and debit cards.
ANZ said its customers will be able to use Android Pay by the middle of 2016.
“Australians are already the highest users of contactless payments in the world and, given the dominance of Android in the local smartphone market, it made sense for us to partner with Google on the introduction of Android Pay into Australia,” ANZ products and marketing managing director Matt Boss said.
“Android Pay will provide our customers with a quick and secure way to make payments with their smartphone and we think it will have strong uptake given the ability to incorporate additional features such as gift and loyalty cards.”
Wesfarmers-owned Coles said the technology would benefit customers.
“Coles is always looking to make shopping more convenient for our customers and is proud to have been a pioneer in mobile payments,” Coles digital director Roger Sniezek said.