Android Pay release date: Google will let UK users pay with their phones ‘in the next few months’

The feature is said to be safer than traditional cards, and is already available for those with Apple phones

Google is about to launch its Android Pay system in the UK, it has said.

The company will release the cashless payment system “in the next few months”, according to a blog post. Like Apple Pay, it will let people buy things by just tapping their phone on the contactless card reader, as long as their handset is compatible.

When the feature comes out, it will be accepted everywhere that takes contactless payments as well as in apps. That will include journeys within the Transport for London network.

Users set up the system by entering their card and personal details, which are then stored in the phone. Future purchases can then be made just by placing the phone on the reader and using a fingerprint scanner to check that the payment is being made by the phone’s owner – a system that has been said to be far more secure than pin-protected card payments.

Google said that it had made deals with many of the UK’s biggest banks, including Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds and others. But there were some notable omissions, such as Barclays – which originally held out from Apple Pay, too – Santander and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Android Pay is just one of a range of payment systems looking to allow people to use their phones as their wallets, and get rid of payment cards. That also includes the already-launched Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, which can only be used on Samsung’s devices and doesn’t yet have a UK release date.

Google’s own service was first released in September in the US, and hasn’t rolled out beyond that. The UK release date will make it likely that the UK becomes the second market to get the system.