What is Android Pay and how is it different from PayPal wallet and Apple Pay?

Google has announced that Android Pay will come to the UK later this month, thus bringing the ability to make contactless payments to millions of Android phone users in the country.

While this is great news for owners of Android phones, the success of Android Pay will depend on how soon users can adapt to making cashless transactions through an entirely new system.

Android Pay set for UK this March

The launch of Apple Pay in June of last year had an immediate impact on the way people made payments for using public services. As per data released by Transport for London, journeys that were paid for via smartphones increased seven-fold ever since Apple Pay was launched. Over 200,000 smartphones were used in the last six months of 2015. On a daily basis, over 35,000 journeys are made on the system and more than 1,000 unique smartphone users are added to the network every day.

The success of Apple Pay is encouraging for Android Pay given that the number of Android phone users far outnumber iPhone users in the UK. However, the success of Android Pay also depends on the number of phones that will support the feature and if the compatibility will be restricted to premium phones only.

So how does Android Pay work?

Android Pay is based on a technology that will enable you to make in-store payments from your Android phone without having to swipe your credit card every time you make a purchase.

The feature works very much like your e-wallet, letting you store your credit cards, loyalty cards and other sensitive information on your phone through which you will be able to perform transactions from your phone.

Android Pay gets major boost with Visa partnership

Last year, Google entered into a partnership with Visa for Android Pay to enable Visa cardholders to make contactless payments using this feature. This takes place through an integration of Android Pay’s secure APIs with Google’s existing Host Card Emulation (HCE) functionality. In the United States, numerous banks, retailers, mobile carriers and payment networks are now working with Android Pay to let you make contactless payments through any of your accounts.

Is it any different from Apple Pay?

Apple maintains that Apple Pay is the most secure form of making payments and storing credit card information. Once a credit card number is saved on the Passbook app, it is assigned a Device Account Number which is separately saved on a chip inside iPhones. While making payments, the Device Account Number is shared via NFC accompanied by a one-time dynamic security code to verify the transaction. Stored credit card information is also never uploaded to iCloud.

Use Apple Pay? Get free London Underground travel with MasterCard Mondays

Apple's Device Account Numbers and dynamic security codes ensure that payments are completely verified and also ensure credit card information isn't compromised either through public sharing or via system hacks.

While making payments through Apple Pay, your iPhone will automatically open the Passbook app where you can choose the credit card you wishes to pay from. The best part is that the vendor will know nothing about the credit card used except for the amount of the transaction. Once a transaction is completed, a light vibration and a beep will let you know that transaction has been successful.

Five things you didn't know about Apple Pay

Just like Apple Pay, Android Pay also uses a virtual account number to represent your account information to keep your card details safe. The system also notifies you about every transaction including location of transaction, details of merchant and transaction amount.

Is Android Pay any different from PayPal wallet?

PayPal is widely known for facilitating financial transactions on the web by letting you transfer funds from one account to another. You can use it to send money to a relative/friend and even make a purchase online or in a shop.

Vodafone has now launched a service to allow its users to make contactless PayPal payments through smartphones, thus making it easier for you to travel anywhere without carrying your wallet. In Spain, Vodafone customers can make contactless payments with PayPal in their Vodafone Wallet at more than 710,000 stores and the number is rising in other European countries as well.

Apple Pay powered over three million journeys on London transportation system since launch

While Android Pay and PayPal were till now different because of the contactless payment option in the former, the arrival of Vodafone Wallet has now bridged the gap and you will now be able to use both services to make contactless payments with equal speed and ease.

What other cashless payment options do Android phone users have?

Samsung Pay is yet another cashless payment platform which lets you make contactless payments with ease. The system is currently available only to owners of Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge and Galaxy S6 Edge Plus phones but according to Thomas Ko, global co-general manager of Samsung Pay, it will be available on cheaper Samsung phones within the next year.

Move over Apple, Samsung Pay is set to rock n' roll

Ko also revealed that you will also be able to use Samsung Pay to make online payments. If this really happens, you'll be able to use the service just like PayPal, making online payments for fun.

Samsung Pay is based on MasterCard's MDES technology which enables tokenization of credit, debit, co-brand, prepaid and small business cards for use in e-wallet services. In addition, MasterCard is also working on a new biometric technology named ID Check which will let you to make payments at stores just by clicking your selfie!

LG Pay launches in Korea; is UK next?

Back in February of 2015, Samsung acquired wireless payment system LoopPay with a view to counter the increasingly popular Apple Pay wireless payment technology. Using add-on devices for smartphones, LoopPay can transmit stored credit card information to magnetic card readers to ensure smooth payments.

LG has also launched its own LG Pay mobile payment platform in Korea and will launch it in Europe soon. It will work in premium phones like G4, G3, G Flex 2, V10 and G5 which are NFC-enabled and if LG supports magnetic secure transmission technology as well, a lot of its users will be able to use the new platform in the coming days.


  1. Guest
    Guest2nd Mar 2016

    Where has Google announced that android pay is coming to the UK?

  2. Guest
    Guest2nd Mar 2016

    Really quite poorly researched. Samsung pay isn't available in the UK at the moment and is only active in S Korea and the US. It also doesn't need an ...

Leave a Comment