Today, Android Pay joins Apple Pay and Samsung Pay here as the latest smartphone platform for making contactless credit card payments. Singapore is the only country after the US and UK to have Android Pay available. At launch, Android Pay will support MasterCard and Visa cards from DBS, OCBC, POSB, Standard Chartered and UOB, with some exceptions.
The Android Pay system will require an Android device that has NFC, and run Android 4.4 KitKat or newer. Setting up is easy. Just go to the Google Play store, search for Android Pay, and click on Enable. Then, launch teh Android Pay app and follow through the setup instructions to add your first credit card.
At this time, Android Pay can be used at the following merchants:
- Charles & Keith
- Clarke Quay
- Cold Storage
- Dorothy Perkins
- NTUC Fairprice, Fairprice Finest and Fairprice Xtra
- Founder Bak Kut Teh
- Fox Kids & Baby
- k.cook korean
There are also a couple of malls listed, such as IMM, Bugis Junction, and Bukit Panjang Plaza, among others, but I think those refer to payments with the mall management itself, as opposed to be able to transact with their tenants using Android Pay.
To get users onto the new payment platform, Google has partnered with McDonald’s to offer a promotion from 7 July to 3 August. During this period, consumers who pay with Android Pay will receive $2 off when they purchase a minimum of $6.
Android Pay won’t be supported on the public transport system. Instead, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) plans to implement an account-based ticketing system. If the new system can work as an app on a smartphone, instead of having to carry a physical card, that would be a small improvement. Better yet, though, would be for LTA to simply embrace existing contactless payment platforms instead of rolling out their own.
I’m eagerly anticipating trying out Android Pay this afternoon. Perhaps it’ll be lunch at McDonald’s.