Although Apple may have fired the first salvo, through its agreement with American Express to bring Apple Pay to Australia, Google has responded with a volley of its own.
In 2016, Android Pay will come to Australia with the support of nine banks and a number of major retail partners. Importantly, there will be support for Visa and Mastercard credit and debit cards – by far the most popular cards in Aussie purses and wallets.
Although this looks a blow to Apple, I’m not so sure. Given that there’s some competition in the contactless payments business, it’s unlikely Apple will want to be left behind. And there’s always the possibility regulators will get involved when one platform can offer a service but another can’t – depending on the reasons such an exclusion occurs.
One thing is for sure – the need to carry a credit card with you will fall away over the next year or so. And with new contactless ATMs being deployed by some banks, the need for a card is further reduced.
According to Google’s announcement, ANZ, Westpac, Bank of Melbourne, Bank of South Australia, Bendigo Bank, Cuscal, ING DIRECT, Macquarie Bank and St George will be the first banks involved in the arrangement.
The major retailers they’ve signed up include 7-Eleven, Brumby’s Bakery, Coles Express, Coles Supermarkets, Crust Gourmet Pizza, Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Limited, Donut King, Gloria Jean’s Coffees, McDonald’s, Michel’s Patisserie, Pizza Capers and Telstra.
Google says they are also working with leading payment providers such as Braintree, eWAY, First Data and Stripe to make accepting Android Pay across stores and apps simpler.