What is Android Pay and how does it work?

Published: 22/01/2019

Smartphones now play a big part in our everyday life. Think about how often you carry yours around with you or how many times you’ve needed to use it whilst out and about!

They’re a great way to send messages and photos, access social media and the internet, set alarms and reminders, track your health alongside many more, including what they were originally designed for – making calls!

And being able to pay for something using your phone is becoming more and more popular with your customers too, which they can use Android Pay to do.

In fact, Android Pay (also known as Google Pay and G Pay) made up a total of 561 million payments processed in 2017 alongside PayPal, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.

So, as a business owner, what do you need to know about Android Pay? Well, that’s where we can help.

What is Android Pay?

First launched into the UK in May 2016, it’s a mobile payment method that lets you pay using your Android device, like a smartphone or piece of Android Wear. It’s basically an android version of Apple Pay.

How does Android Pay work?

It works in a similar way to contactless payments, which is another quick and easy way to pay.

Like contactless, you just need to hold the device a few centimetres away from the card machine. It will then connect to the machine using NFC technology (Near Field Communication).

NFC technology (or NFC payments) works using radio waves. The device and the card machine need to be next to each other so that they can communicate.

The payment will then be processed in the same way as a standard Chip and PIN payment, through your merchant account.

You’ll need a merchant account set-up to take payments, as this is a separate account where the payment funds are checked and processed. Once done, they’ll be transferred to your business bank account for you to access.

You can learn more about merchant accounts in our blog.

Does it have a limit?

There is no payment limit on how much you can pay using Android Pay, however some businesses do put a cap of £30 on transactions.

This helps to stop any large amount transactions being processed without a PIN-code.

Is it safe?

Android Pay is safe, yes.

It uses a security feature called payment tokenisation to help ensure that both you and your customers are protected during the payment process.

When your customer adds their card to their Android Pay wallet, their payment details are changed into a string of randomised numbers and letters called a token. This means that their actual card details are never stored into the system or passed on.

So, when you customer makes a payment, the token is sent in its place. The token is only readable by the payment processor, so if anyone else were to get access to this, they wouldn’t be able to change it back to the original payment details.

How to get started

If you’re interested in taking Android Pay payments, we can help.

There’s no additional set-up needed to get started, or any extra costs to start accepting Android Pay.

All of our card payment machines come already equipped with Android Pay connectivity, along with contactless and Apple Pay as standard.

With no set-up fees and a short 12 month contract available on all of our payment processing solutions, enquire for your free quote today.

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