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Android Pay launches in UK; 28% of consumers worried about digital payment security

Security and payment experts warn that the Google-backed Android Pay UK launch on 18 May is promising, however could be held back by concerns over malware.

“With Android Pay's arrival in the UK, we are continuing to see a real shift in the payments landscape, causing further momentum in an already extensive contactless NFC terminal infrastructure. However, despite consumer uptake of contactless payments, many are still wary of mobile payments and security is one of the biggest concerns holding them back from adopting the technology,” says Jose Diaz, director of payment strategy at Thales e-Security.

According to data from a PYMNTS study on mobile wallet usage, 40 percent said they were satisfied with their current payment method. Additionally, 28 percent were worried about security and 16 percent were not aware as to how mobile payments work.

Key takeaways prove that consumers of Android Pay, along with others such as Apple Pay either don't care, didn't know how or forgot to use the contactless method. The numbers show that consumers may not be ready for widespread adoption of any mobile wallet players just yet.

The UK is an important market for mobile payments given the adoption of contactless payment. New data from Visa Europe shows that 20 percent of all physical card payments under £30 in the UK are now contactless payments. The Bank of Scotland, First Direct, Halifax, HSBC and Lloyds Bank are among a few of Android Pay's supported banks in the UK.

Through the expansion of its APIs, Google is working to make it easier for developers to cut steps out of the path to accepting digital payments on Android Pay and provide speedy checkout to apps such as Airbnb, Yelp and Uber.

Apple Pay launched nearly a year ago in Britain, however Android noted in a blog post that the UK is “one of the most advanced contactless nations in the world”, proving their confidence in UK consumers' use of contactless cards.

“Android Pay's low barrier to entry – most smartphones are NFC-enabled these days – means it'll have a more wide-reaching impact on how Brits pay for goods than Apple Pay has had alone,” said Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch.

Android Pay will continue to launch in new countries in the near future. 

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