Android smartphone users can now use ‘Android Pay’ to make contactless payments in-store using their mobile device, funded using a credit card from American Express Australia, ANZ, Macquarie, MyState and Teachers Mutual Bank.
It’s a similar concept to Apple Pay for iPhone: you open Google’s native Android Pay app on compatible smartphones (or download it here if not already installed), add your credit card from one of the banks above and you’re good to go.
Android Pay works on NFC- and HCE-enabled devices running the KitKat operating system (v4.4 or higher), although not on smartphones without these features built-in such as the Samsung Galaxy Note III.
At launch both American Express and Visa cards are supported – so for instance, if you have an ANZ Frequent Flyer Black American Express and Visa duo, you can add both cards to use AMEX wherever it’s accepted and Visa everywhere else – while MasterCard support will be added in the coming days.
Making a payment via Android Pay
To complete your purchase in-store, simply wake up your smartphone and hold it – not your plastic credit card – near the store’s tap-and-go reader. Payments will be funded from the card marked as your default, although you can open the Android Pay app to select a different card.
Transactions below $100 will be quickly approved, while those above will ask you to enter your usual credit card PIN on the EFTPOS terminal.
Also note that American Express payments via Android Pay will only be accepted where American Express contactless cards are usually welcome, such as at Coles, Woolworths and Myer.
Some businesses do too accept American Express but require the physical card to be inserted into the terminal or swiped through the machine – such as at BP and Haigh’s Chocolates – so for now, you’ll still want to carry the real deal or have a back-up plan.
Other card issuers including Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac don’t currently support Android Pay, although offer varying levels of support for contactless Android smartphone payments via their own relevant banking apps.
Users of selected Samsung smartphones including the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge can also make tap-and-go payments via the Samsung Pay app from cards issued directly by American Express Australia and also Citibank.
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