Google to bring Android Pay to UK in coming months

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Google has finally signalled a launch date for its Android Pay service in the United Kingdom, saying consumers will be able to make mobile payments "in the coming months".

The service will be available to consumers with the Marshmallow version of its operating system, which Google launched last year along with Android Pay.

Google used Marshmallow to revamp its former Wallet app, which struggled to catch on among consumers. Android Pay uses NFC and host card emulation to allow consumers to make contactless payments at compatible till-points.

Consumers will be able to make purchases at the likes of Boots, Costa Coffee and Waitrose, as well as travel on the London Underground.

Pali Bhat, Senior Director, Product Management said: "Android Pay will support MasterCard and Visa credit and debit cards from many of the UK’s major financial institutions — including Bank of Scotland, First Direct, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, M&S Bank, MBNA and Nationwide Building Society — with new banks being added all the time."

However, Google may face challenges in finding people to sign up to the service. While Android is the world's most popular operating system, only 2.3 percent of users have Marshmallow installed on their phone.

Earlier this month, Google revealed it was testing a hands-free version of Android Pay in San Francisco. It uses Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and location-based services to allow a consumer to make a payment.

Since launching in the United States, Google has said it is adding 1.5 million new registrations each month, although the service comes preinstalled on any Marshmallow handset.