This post was published 2 years, 6 months ago. Due to the rapidly evolving world of technology, some material it contains may no longer be applicable.
When Google Launched Android Pay last week many Android users were disgruntled by the fact that the service was limited to the US. In fact there was no mention of international support at all. However, it now seems that Android Pay will indeed be going international soon, most likely starting across the pond here in the UK.
Shortly after the Android Pay announcement, a post on Google+ was made by the Android Team, specifically mentioning that we’d see support in “more countries coming soon“:
This in itself is promising from Google as they were reluctant even to comment on the international availability of Google Wallet Tap & Pay before. Of course, “soon” could mean days, weeks or even months with these things but we have now got reason to suspect it could be sooner rather than later.
UK Bank “M&S Bank” has apparently prematurely sent out emails to a bunch of their customers telling them they can now use Android Pay with their M&S cards. This isn’t actually the case yet so it would appear that the HSBC-owned bank has jumped the gun on the release by mistake.
However, the very fact such emails exist already suggests Android Pay must be not long from a UK launch, most likely with other countries (in particular others in Europe) gaining access to the new mobile payment service at the same time or following shortly afterwards.
As mentioned previously, M&S bank (from British multinational Food & Retail chain Marks and Spencer) is actually owned and operated by HSBC Bank plc, one of the largest financial institutions in the United Kingdom and around the world. If Google have approval for imminent launch by regulators in UK and EU and deals worked out with HSBC then that is very promising news for the state of Android Pay in countries outside of the United States.
Combine all this with the fact that Apple Pay (which started as US only) has recently expanded to Europe (including the UK) and Samsung Pay is also due to launch here very shortly, Google must know that they have to make the move quickly if they want a sliced of the pie.
It’s sad that Google, who were actually the first to introduce a major mobile payment system, is now playing catchup to others and still only offers their service in the US – close to 5 years after Google Wallet debuted on the Nexus S back in the latter part of 2010. It does look though that they are finally getting ready to introduce it internationally as they should have done from the start.