The mobile payment ecosystem has never been more competitive than it is right now, as various companies and device manufacturers are battling for supremacy all over the world. Android Pay could be a legitimate contender in this race although it remains to be seen how much traction this solution can gain all over the world. Now that Android Pay is coming to the United Kingdom, Google will face their first test in the in the mobile payments industry.
UK Merchant Participation For Android Pay
No matter how attractive a mobile payment solution might be, it all comes down to merchant participation and usability for the consumer. Launching Android Pay in the United Kingdom is a significant move for Google, but if there are not enough merchants accepting this payment method, it could end up being forgotten about just like Apple Pay.
At the same time, Android Pay has been seeing its fair share of success in the United States, though, as close to 1.5 million new users are signing up for the service every week. However, there is a big difference between signing up new users, and retaining high numbers of people using Android Pay on a regular basis.
Things may turn out differently in the United Kingdom, as Google has inked deals with various partners. No exact launch date has been announced just yet, other than mention how Android Pay will be available to use in the next few months. Keeping in mind how this is the first venture in Europe for the mobile payment solution, things could get fascinating over the next twelve months.
Moreover, this launch will pit Google directly against Apple in the battle for mobile payment supremacy. Apple Pay was made available to businesses and consumers in the UK as of July 2015, although its rate of success has been diminishing quickly ever since. The mobile payment solution has been plagued by various issues, including double-billing consumers using the London Tube.
Partnering with the right companies and financial players will be critical for Google and Android Pay although they seem to be on the right track so far. With eight major banks – including RBS, HSBC, and Nationwide – supporting the solution, things are off to a good start. The retailer side of things will need some work, though, as only eleven brands have been confirmed so far. Then again, that short list includes Costa, Starbucks, KFC, Aldi, and Transport For London.
So What About Bitcoin?
Even though Android Pay is a direct competitor for Bitcoin in this regard, it remains to be seen how popular this solution will become. There is no reason to believe all of these different payment solutions cannot coexist for the time being, and consumers will be able to make up their mind by trying out the various options at their disposal.
Bitcoin adoption in the United Kingdom is relatively low, similar to most other countries in the world. Upcoming solutions such as Plutus could be a game changer for the digital currency world, but it will take some time until this platform is released. With no release date for Android Pay or Plutus and Apple pay use diminishing since the launch in the UK, things could get quite interesting.
What are your thoughts on Android pay launching in the UK? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Google, Android Pay, Shutterstock