Hoping to curtail Apple's head start in the region, Google has just announced that Android Pay is coming to the UK. The company's mobile wallet will roll out "in the next few months" — that's as specific as the blog post gets — with support for MasterCard and Visa credit and debit cards from partners including the Bank of Scotland, First Direct, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, M&S Bank, MBNA, and Nationwide Building Society.
Android smartphone owners will be able to tap and pay with Android Pay wherever contactless payments are accepted, and just like Apple Pay, you'll also be able to use it to pay when traveling through London on the Tube. Apple Pay debuted in the UK back in July, so Google is already five months behind. But much like here in the US, the company is promising to add new banks to Android Pay at a frequent and steady clip. Apple's outpacing Google here at home, but the UK represents another battleground as these companies compete for a commanding lead in contactless payments. Android Pay is available for smartphones running Android 4.4 (Kit Kat) and above; the phones must also support NFC technology for tap-to-pay purchases.