What is Google Pay, how does it

work, and which banks support it?



In 2018, Google revamped and rebranded its mobile and online payments services, putting them all under the Google Pay or G Pay umbrella. It is, in essence, the company's own alternative to Apple Pay. 

You can use it for online payments, in app purchases, contactless payments in stores and even for peer-to-peer money sending. So whether you're browsing for a new pair of sneakers online or buying your morning coffee, G Pay can do all the heavy lifting for you. 

Here's everything you need to know about Google Pay.

How do you set up Google Pay?

To get started using Google Pay, follow these steps:

  1. Look for the Google Pay app on your phone. It's preloaded on most Android phones and Wear OS watches, but you can also simply download it from Google Play
  2. Open the Google Pay app and add a credit or debit card within Cards tab.
  3. If it's your first time using the app, tap Get Started, then select a payment method to add, and take a photo of your card or enter your information.
  4. Google will then verify you via SMS or email authentication.
  5. Simply unlock your phone and tap to use Google Pay at any contactless payment terminal. 

If you're using it on a Wear OS smartwatch, the process is similar. Just open the Google Pay app on your smartwatch, it'll then take you through a setup process on the smartphone that it's connected too, verifying you in a similar way with an SMS message, and asking you to set a PIN, Pattern or PIN lock on your watch. 

How does Google Pay work in stores?

To do in-store purchases with Google Pay, follow these steps:

  1. Look for the Google Pay symbol or contactless payment symbol at a contactless payment terminal near checkout.
  2. Unlock your phone or launch Google Pay on your Wear OS watch.
  3. Hold your phone or watch over the terminal and wait until you see a checkmark or hear the beep confirming the transaction.

You can pay for goods by simply unlocking your Android phone like you normally do (which also enables Google Pay to authenticate your transaction), then placing it near a merchant's contactless terminal, and that's it. You can also pay for purchases under £45 or $50 without unlocking your phone (the screen just needs to be on), though you can only make a certain number of these transactions before your phone will ask you to unlock it.

For purchases above the £45/$50 limit, you'll need to put in your authentication. You don't even need to open an app to process a payment. It just lets you tap and go, and then you receive the confirmation/transaction details on your phone.

How does Google Pay work in apps?

To do in-app purchases with Google Pay, follow these steps:

  1. Open a supported app, like Uber or Airbnb.
  2. At checkout or time of purchase, look for the Buy with Google Pay button.
  3. Press the Google Pay button.
  4. You'll normally be asked to choose the card you want to use, and confirm its 3-digit security number.
  5. Learn more from here.

Android offers a "Buy with Google Pay" button in apps, meaning you'll be able to tap a button and swiftly checkout, rather than having to enter your credit card and shipping address each time you make a purchase.

How does Google Pay work on websites?

To pay on supported websites with Google Pay, follow these steps:

  1. You can use Goole Pay in any browser.
  2. At checkout on a supported site, just look for the Google Pay purchase button.
  3. You'll normally be asked to choose the card you want to use, and confirm its 3-digit security number.
  4. Learn more from here.

Now, if you see a box at checkout that says "Use selected info for future purchases from this site," check it to use Google Pay and set it as your default payment method. The next time you plan to buy from that site, just choose what you want to buy, start to check out, and confirm that you want to use the payment information associated with Google Pay. Then, all your information will be auto-filled.

What else can you do with Google Pay?

Account passes/train tickets/boarding passes

Just like Apple Pay/Wallet, Google Pay can also be used to store your passes, account cards and travel tickets in one place too. Just open the Google Pay app and tap 'Passes' on the bottom tab to get to them. 


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