Just like Apple Pay for iPhone users, Google Pay is the digital wallet for Android users. Google Pay enables you to make purchases in-store, online and within apps without using your physical debit or credit card. This guide will cover what Google Pay is and how to use it. It also includes a list of all the Australian banks that currently offer Google Pay.
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What is Google Pay?
Google Pay is a payments app that acts like your physical wallet, housing all your debit and credit cards as well as loyalty cards, tickets and coupons. You can use the digital wallet to make contactless purchases in stores and online just like you would with your physical debit card, except the app enables you to make these purchases using just your smartphone or Android device. The beauty of Google Pay is that you can travel lightly with just your phone and still make purchases – no cash or card needed.
What happened to Android Pay and Google Wallet?
Don’t be confused about Android Pay and Google Wallet, Google has rebranded these as Google Pay. Google launched Android Pay in 2015 but rebranded to Google Pay in early 2018 to avoid confusion. Now, all of Google’s digital payment features are under the one name: Google Pay.
Australian banks that offer Google Pay
See the Australian banks that offer Google Pay, Samsung Pay and/or Apple Pay in the table below.
|Bank ||Apple Pay||Samsung Pay||Google Pay |
|Bank of Sydney|
|Beyond Bank Australia|
|Big Sky Building Society|
|Bank of Queensland (BAQ)|
|CAPE Credit Union|
|Central Murray Credit Union|
|Central West Credit Union|
|Community First Credit Union|
|Central Coast Credit Union|
|Community Alliance Credit Union|
|Credit Union SA|
|Endeavour Mutual Bank|
|Family First Credit Union|
|Firefighters Mutual Bank|
|First Option Credit Union|
|Ford Credit Union|
|Goulburn Murray Credit Union|
|Holiday Coast Credit Union|
|Horizon Credit Union|
|Illawarra Credit Union|
|Intech Credit Union|
|Laboratories Credit Union|
|Latitude Financial Services|
|Maritime Mining & Power Credit Union|
|Northern Beaches Credit Union|
|Northern Inland Credit Union|
|People’s Choice Credit Union|
|Police Credit Union|
|South West Slopes Credit Union|
|Sydney Credit Union|
|Teachers Mutual Bank|
|Warwick Credit Union|
|WAW Credit Union|
|Woolworths Employees’ Credit Union|
|Queenslanders Credit Union|
So how does Google Pay work?
Within the Google Pay app, you’ll see a tab titled “Cards”. This is where all your cards are stored, including your debit and credit card. In the same way that you can use your physical debit card to make contactless tap-and-go purchases in stores, you can use Google Pay to tap your smartphone on an EFTPOS terminal without entering a pin.
Using near field communication (NFC), the phone connects with the payment terminal when they’re held close together, allowing the payment to be processed. Think of it like an invisible mini-bridge between your phone and the EFTPOS terminal that allows the data to travel between each device. The chip within your device communicates to the chip within the payment terminal, sending messages back and forth via the mini, invisible bridge.
Where can you use Google Pay?
Google Pay is accepted at millions of places worldwide. You can use Google Pay in any stores that already enable tap-and-go payments, which is almost everywhere these days. You can also use Google Pay to make purchases within a large number of popular apps, such as Deliveroo and Wish as well as on websites like JB Hi-Fi. When using Google Pay to make purchases online, you avoid having to manually enter your card details each time you make a transaction. If you’re not sure if a particular merchant accepts Google Pay, just look for the Google Pay symbol or the contactless payment symbol.
Which devices support Google Pay?
Google Pay is supported by all Android devices that have the operating system 4.4 (KitKat) and above. You can also use Google Pay on a compatible Android Wear 2.0 smartwatch.
Google Pay is only available on Android devices and is not available on iPhones, Mac computers or Apple Watches.
How to set up Google Pay on your smartphone
Setting up Google Pay only takes a few easy steps, and you can start making contactless payments right away.
- Ensure you have an eligible device and debit card. You’ll need to have an Android smartphone that supports the operating system 4.4 or above. Plus, check to make sure your current bank offers Google Pay by searching the list above.
- Download the app. Go to your Google play store and download the Google Pay app.
- Add your debit card. Select the “Add debit card” option within the app. You can take a photo of your card instead of manually entering in all the numbers (although you can enter the numbers manually, if you’d like to). You’ll receive a text to verify your identity, then you’re all set to go.
How do I use Google Pay once it’s installed?
Once you’ve got the Google Pay app set up on your smartphone, it’s easy to make contactless payments in stores without your debit card or cash. All you need to do is wake up your phone, hold it over the EFTPOS terminal and wait until you see a tick appear on the screen to let you know the payment was approved. You don’t need to open the Google Pay app, and the whole process takes less than five seconds to complete.
If you’re making a purchase within an app or on a website, simply select the Google Pay option at the checkout. The app will use your default card details to pay for the transaction, without the need to enter in your details again.
Is Google Pay safe?
You can sleep easy knowing that yes, Google Pay is incredibly safe. In fact, Google operates one of the most advanced security systems in the world. When you use Google Pay to pay for things in-store, like your morning coffee, the app doesn’t share your debit card number with the merchant. Instead it shares a unique encrypted transaction number along with a number specific to your device to validate the payment.
And if you lose the phone itself, you can simply lock it remotely from a web browser by logging into your Google account. Or, you can use your mobile banking app to lock your debit card temporarily. So, Google Pay is actually safer than using your traditional debit or credit card in some ways.
How do I use Google Pay on my Android watch?
If Google Pay is supported on your smartwatch, the app will already be on the watch. Open the app on your watch and select the “Get started” option. You’ll then need to use your phone to add a debit card to your watch. When done successfully, your card will appear within the Google Pay app on your watch. Note, you’ll need to set up a PIN for your watch in order for Google Pay to work.
You can now use the watch to make contactless payments in stores. Hover your wrist over the payment terminal, the same way that you’d use your phone or debit card to tap and go. However, unlike using Google Pay on your smartphone, when using your watch to pay, you do need to open the Google Pay app. You’ll feel a vibration from the watch when the transaction has worked.
Pros and Cons of using Google Pay
- It’s more secure than using your debit card or cash.
- You can travel light without carrying a physical wallet.
- You can use it to make purchases in-store, within apps and online.
- It’s not as limited as Apple Pay since you can use it on a large number of Android devices.
- You need an eligible device; it does not work on iPhones.
- Not all banks offer Google Pay yet.
What are Apple Pay and Samsung Pay?
Apple Pay is the digital wallet offered by tech giant Apple, which is for iPhone users and other Apple devices including Apple Watch. Samsung Pay is exclusively for Samsung devices, although Google Pay will also work on a large majority of Samsung devices.
If you’ve got an iPhone or Samsung device, you can check out our Apple Pay or Samsung Pay guides to learn more about these digital wallet options.