Google has launched its payment service, Google Pay, in the UAE.
Google Pay allows Android phone users to make secure payments in apps and websites, in Google services and in physical stores that support contactless payments.
The service also acts as a smartphone wallet, to add Visa and Mastercard credit cards from partner banks including Emirates Islamic, Emirates NBD, Mashreq and Standard Chartered to the app.
Users only need to wake the phone screen up and tap it to the contactless terminal via Near Field Communication (NFC). For transactions above AED 300, as an additional safety measure, users also have to enter their card pincode into the payment terminal.
Google Pay is also integrated into various Google products (for example Google Play and Chrome), making it easier to buy movies, books, and apps, and to list all purchases in one place.
Google says that security is a key element in the design of Google Pay. The credit card number is neither stored on the mobile device nor in the system of the seller. When users pay in stores, their transactions are made using a virtual card number called a token, which is device-specific. The token is associated with a dynamic security code that changes with each transaction. Also, if a phone is ever lost or stolen, users can simply use the "Find my device" function to instantly lock their device from anywhere, secure it with a new password, or even wipe it clean of their personal information. There is no need to deactivate the card itself, as its data aren't stored on the device.
The service is available for Android devices running Lollipop 5.0 or higher.