Making payments with Google Pay on your Android phone
All it takes is a few steps to set up Google Pay and start making payments with your phone.
Why would I have it?
In a word, convenience. You no longer have to carry credit or debit cards with you. Google Pay works with pay wave but with a mobile phone instead of a bank card, and more companies like retailers and banks are accepting it.
Soon Google Pay will also support person-to-person payments. This lets you transfer money from your bank account or credit card to someone else via the internet and your mobile phone.
How do I use Google Pay?
Simply download the app from the Google Play store. Or it may already be installed if you have a newer phone. Google Pay is currently available for Android 5.0 (Lollipop) or higher.
When you’re making a purchase, unlock your phone and hold it near the scanner. That's it. You don’t even need to open the Google Pay app. Remember to re-lock your phone afterwards, or set your phone to auto-lock after a set time.
Good to know
Android Pay features are now part of Google Pay.
Is it secure?
Shop securely in stores
When you use your phone to pay in stores, Google Pay doesn’t send your actual credit or debit card number with your payment. Instead, a virtual account number is used to represent your information – so your card details stay safe.
Encrypted and secured by Google™.
Google Pay protects your payment info with multiple layers of security, using one of the world’s most advanced security infrastructures to help keep your information safe.
You must also enable secure screen lock on your device during set up and before you can make larger purchases. This means other people won't be able to use your device to pay without your screen lock password. If you turn screen lock off, Google Pay removes your virtual account number.
Depending on your bank, for convenience smaller amounts – generally up to $100 – payments can be made without unlocking your phone. However you do need to have Near-Field Communication (NFC) enabled. So for added security, make sure you disable NFC when you’re not making payments.
For this reason, using your phone to pay can be more secure than your bank card since it has this added level of protection (the need to unlock your phone and enable NFC) while, unless a card with the Pay Wave chip is in a ‘secure wallet’ that blocks wireless transmissions and isn’t out of your possession, there’s potential for it to be used to its limit multiple times without using a PIN number.
How do I set it up?
First make sure your phone and bank both support NFC and Google Pay. Then:
- Set a fingerprint, PIN, password or pattern for security
- Find or install the app on Google Play
- Set up a screen lock if you don't have one already
- Add your bank card details – your bank will verify this process
- To start making payments, turn on Near-Field Communication (NFC) in your phone's settings.
Anything else about set up?
Ask your bank about the dollar limit for paying without unlocking your phone. And also the maximum number of consecutive transactions allowed.
Make sure you read both Google’s and your bank’s terms and conditions. Check if there are additional fees or third party costs when you pay with the app.
Can I track my payments?
Yes. The app keeps a record of transactions and merchants' names for you. If you suspect fraudulent activity on your bank accounts, contact your bank straight away.
Why wouldn't I be able to use it?
There are several reasons.
- You bank doesn't allow Google Pay
- The merchant doesn’t accept Google Pay
- Your older phone doesn't support Google Pay, or you haven't updated your operating system yet.
Finally, a word of caution. It's easy to get to your money and spend, so set some limits or rules to stick to your budget.
Google and Google Pay are trademarks of Google LLC.