Google Pay launches in the UAE

You can now use your Android phone to pay in a range of stores

Google Pay has launched in the UAE, meaning you can now use your Android smartphone to pay in stores that accept contactless.

All you need to do is securely register your card details issued by one of the partner banks and you can then make payments at a growing number of shops across the UAE.

It all works using technology called NFC (that's near field communication). To find out if it's installed on your Android device, open the Settings app, then click 'connected devices'. If you see 'NFC', then it's good news – you can use Google Pay.

It is available now for customers of Emirates NBD, Standard Chartered, Emirates Islamic and Mashreq, although more banks could join the service in future.

In theory, it’s super easy. You scan your credit card using your Android phone, which then allows you to tap your phone at a contactless reader, acting as some sort of proxy credit card.

There’s no need to worry about the security of your card’s information, because neither the phone nor your bank send, receive or store account information when you use Google Pay.

All transactions are heavily encrypted and, in short, use codes to instruct the bank to deduct a certain amount from your account.

Google Pay joins rival UAE services including Samsung Pay, Beam Wallet, PayPal and Etisalat Wallet – as well as Apple Pay which launched last year.

That means no more trying to remember where you left your debit card.
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