What is Google Pay?

Google Pay – previously known as ‘Android Pay’ – is a rival to Apple Pay. Essentially, it’s a digital wallet platform and online payment system that allows you to make purchases with your mobile devices, including android phones, smart watches, and tablets. While Apple Pay only works with the iPhone and other Apple devices, Google Pay allows more users to use mobile devices for payments.

How Does It Work?

Google Pay stores your credit card, debit card and loyalty card details in a digital wallet, so you can pay for good simply by holding your mobile device over a contactless card reader.

There is no payment limit imposed by Google Pay, but currently many retailers apply their own £30 limit for contactless payments.

Is It Safe?

Google Pay has put several measures in place to keep its users’ personal and financial information safe and protect against fraud.

Each card is given a virtual account number, which means the real details are never shared with retailers. You can only use Google Pay if you have a screen lock (this will be PIN, password, pattern or fingerprint, depending on your phone). You will need to enter this security detail every time you make a purchase, and you will also receive a confirmation each time, giving details of the transaction and retailer, which will act as a red flag for any suspicious activity.

Can I Get Google Pay on My Phone?

Google Pay works on all android device that supports NFC payments (near-field communication). You can check that NFC is turned on in your phone’s settings.

To start using Google Pay, all you need to do is download the app from the Google Play app store and add the details from your cards.

Can I Use Google Pay for Online Purchases?

Some websites and apps support payments with Google Pay, and the number of retailers that do accept it is growing all the time. You can also set up Google Pay on your computer by visiting pay.google.com

Which Banks Support Google Pay?

Google Pay works with MasterCard and Visa credit and debit cards from most of the big high street banks. Barclays and Barclaycard, Metro Bank and Tesco Bank don’t currently support Google Pay.

What If My Phone is Lost or Stolen?

‘Android Device Manager’ means you can remotely lock your device and clear it of your personal and financial information if your phone is lost or stolen.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Google Pay?


  • Fast payments – simply hover your device over the reader
  • Secure – real details are never shared
  • Protected – you must use your PIN, fingerprint or other security measure
  • Everything is in one place – you don’t have to carry lots of cards and cash
  • Loyalty points can be automatically added – no need to carry reward cards


  • It’s not accepted everywhere – though the number of retailers that do accept it is growing
  • It’s only supported by certain devices – you need a device with NFC
  • Dependent on your phone or device – if your battery dies and you don’t have an alternative form of payment with you, you’ll leave the shop empty handed