Android owners will be keen to bring on the new year more than other mobile owners, and that’s because Google’s mobile payments system will work locally some time in the beginning of 2016.
There’s an idea floating around the web that one day you won’t have to bring your wallet places, and that if you have left it at home, you won’t need to go scrambling back to the door to grab it.
This idea stems from the concept that one device will overtake your wallet, and it will overtake your cards, killing both cash and card at once, and turning us not just into a cashless society (which we’re already heading towards), but a card-less society.
It’s probably not hard to guess which device this is, but let’s just say it for good measure: your phone.
This year, with the knowledge that Apple Pay was finally working in Australia with at least one card provider (American Express), the idea that a phone could well and truly take on duties for your wallet has come to fruition.
But it’s not done yet, and with Android on more devices than iOS, Google needs to get in there to get people using its Android Pay service pronto.
Fortunately, the search giant has announced that Android Pay will come to Australia in the first half of 2016.
“Australians are some of the fastest adopters of technology in the world, including in their use of innovative banking solutions,” said Maile Carnegie, Managing Director of Google Australia.
“It is wonderful to see wide support from the Australian banks and the industry for Android Pay, meaning you will be able to use your Android smartphone as a way to buy things when you’re out and about,” she said.
The service will enable those with compatible smartphones and supported services to pay using their phone instead of reaching for their wallet, and will be supported by the likes of Coles, Crust, Domino’s, McDonald’s, and Telstra, while also being supported by a number of online websites.
Your banking provider is also a big part of this, but fortunately almost everyone is on-board, with ANZ, WestPac, Bendigo, ING, Macquarie Bank and St. George all ready to go, while Visa and MasterCard are there too, just in case your bank isn’t.
“We are delighted to be working with Google to make Android Pay available to Macquarie transaction and credit cardholders,” said Greg Ward, Deputy Managing Director of the Macquarie Group.
“Macquarie is committed to providing our clients and partners with leading and innovative digital banking solutions, and Android Pay offers clients a simple and secure way to make payments using their Android phone, as well as the convenience of storing gift cards, loyalty cards and special offers on their phone for fast and easy access.”
So when is this coming?
Right now, Google is only saying “the first half of 2016”, so our guess is April, something we say based on knowing that Mobile World Congress will be on at the end of February. Give Google a couple of months to get it sorted, and once the new smartphones start arriving locally — devices like what ever is next out of Samsung and HTC — you’ll likely see Android Pay support added as a feature.
Until then, don’t throw out the wallet and keep it with you, because you’re still going to need it.