Android contactless payment app goes live

Thousands of smartphone users will be able to use their device to instantly pay for items in stores across the country from today.

It follows the launch of an app that uses contactless payment technology.

The Android Pay app can be used by any customers of AIB or KBC banks, and allows a payment to be made in-store at any business that uses the existing contactless payment terminals.

Customers will not need to unlock their smartphone or open the app to use it, merely wake the device and hold it to the contactless payment terminal to complete the transaction.

The app will relay information to users about their transactions, and those who lose their phone or have it stolen can have the device remotely locked, wiped of information or have the account disabled via Android’s Device Manager website.

In announcing the app, Google said it has a “multi-layered security approach with Android Pay”, and said payment information is encrypted and constantly monitored for malware and fraud.

“We don’t share the actual 16-digit card number with merchants during the transaction and we don’t store it on the phone.

“If a phone gets lost or stolen, you can disable the account at anytime and because the actual card number is not stored on the device, there is no need to cancel it,” a statement from Google said.

“We also use a dynamic security code that changes with each transaction, so that even if someone were to hack a merchant they wouldn’t get access to our users’ credentials.

“If your phone is ever lost or stolen you can easily find, lock, and erase your phone using Android Device Manager.”

It also said Android Pay can be used to complete in-app transactions, and cited Adverts.ie, Deliveroo, and Uber as examples of apps that will both facilitate instant payments through their apps in conjunction Android Pay.

Furthermore, in instances where these services require an address for delivery, Android Pay will relay the customer’s details to the business, eliminating the need for the user to type out their information.

Dara Deering, executive director and head of retail banking at KBC Bank Ireland, said the app would be used by the many customers who already avail of online banking.

“We are continuing to see an increase in the number of our customers banking through digital channels with the amount of mobile and online usage at KBC rising by 109% over the summer months compared to the same period last year.

“So this is a perfect offering for our customers,” he said.

The free app is available from the Google Play store and can be used by any device that is near-field communication-enabled and runs on Android’s KitKat 4.4, or newer versions of the operating system.

Users will then be asked to add an eligible MasterCard or Visa card from AIB or KBC banks to the app.

More banks are expected to be added in the coming months.


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