Android Pay has today made its official debut in the U.K., allowing users to make contactless payments of up to £30 (approx. $43) with their smartphones. It’s the first time Google’s service has been available outside the U.S. since it launched last September.
To get started with Android Pay in the U.K., you simply need to download the app from Google Play, then add a credit or debit card. Before you can do that, you’ll need to ensure you have a smartphone with NFC that’s running Android 4.4 KitKat or above.
Android Pay currently supports both MasterCard and Visa cards from a number of major banks, including Bank of Scotland, First Direct, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, M&S Bank, MBNA, and Nationwide — and Google promises that more will be added later.
Android Pay’s launch comes five days after one retailer, Pret A Manger, started advertising support for the service on its payment terminals — and on the same day Google kicks off its I/O conference in California, where we expect updates on Android and more.
Android Pay is the first big rival to Apple Pay in the U.K., but it doesn’t yet support as many services. Barclays, which didn’t support Apple Pay for over nine months, is a notable omission from the list, and reports claim the company will shun Android Pay in favor of its own service.