Android Pay pairs up with PayPal

Angus Kidman 19 April 2017

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Good news for contactless payment fans - unless you live in Australia.

Android Pay has been coming across as the runt of the contactless phone payments litter in recent months. Samsung Pay could crow about scoring a Big Four bank after its deal with Westpac, while Apple could bask in the glory of the ACCC taking its side in the stoush over access to Apple Pay. But life's been a little quieter on the Android Pay front since its Australian launch last July.

A development this week could make Android Pay much more accessible. However, Australians shouldn't start wetting their contactless pants just yet.

Google has announced a partnership with PayPal, which will let PayPal customers link that account with Android Pay and use it for contactless payments. Since PayPal lets you link to almost any bank account, that will broaden Android Pay's reach considerably.

The catch? The initial rollout is US only, with updates for the Android Pay and PayPal apps due "within the next few weeks". The initial version will also only allow you to pay from your PayPal balance - you won't be able to draw directly from cards connected to your account, though this feature is promised eventually. It seems likely that we'll see PayPal roll out some version of the partnership down under, but there will be regulatory hurdles to be crossed first.

Potentially better news for Australians? Last week, Android Pay announced it would now work with Bank of New Zealand accounts. Bank of New Zealand is owned by NAB, so the likelihood of NAB joining Westpac on the roster of Australian banks supporting Android Pay is looking up. Though subsidiary activity isn't a guarantee; Bankwest supports Android Pay, but its parent, Commonwealth, does not.

Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears Monday through Friday on finder.com.au.

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