Google Pay is a digital wallet and online payment system for Android (the equivalent of Apple Pay for iPhone users) which allows you to make purchases in-store, online and in mobile applications without having to use your physical debit or credit card.
This guide explains what Google Pay is, how to use it, and also includes a list of banks in Singapore that are compatible with it.
Banks offering Google Pay compatible cards in Singapore
Here are the banks in Singapore that offer a Google Pay compatible card:
Note: Banks may restrict certain or all of its cards from making mobile payments, so do check directly with the bank if your card is compatible with Google Pay.
What is Google Pay?
Google Pay is a payment application that allows you to make online and in-store purchases directly with your Android device. It functions in the same way as a physical wallet, automatically syncing all your saved bank cards wherever your Google account is logged in for quick payments. This means that you’ll no longer have to fill in your card details every time you make payment.
In addition, Google Pay also imports loyalty cards, tickets and offers from your Gmail account, so contents you normally crammed into bulky wallets are now compressed into a tidy digital space.
How does Google Pay work?
Just like how contactless payments are conducted when you “tap” or hold your physical bank cards close to the payment terminal, settling your bill with Google Pay only requires you to bring your configured smartphone to the payment terminal to complete your purchase.
Near-field communication (NFC)
Google Pay uses near-field communication (NFC) to connect your smartphone to the payment terminal when one is held close to the other. The concept is similar to WiFi, except that the distance and duration of the connection for payment NFC are very limited, keeping the process secure.
During payment, the chip in your device communicates with the chip in the payment terminal to relay the information needed to complete the purchase. Your card data is sent to the payment terminal through a process called tokenisation, which utilises a token to stand in for a customer’s actual credit and debit card numbers.
When the system detects your virtual account number, it’ll send it to your bank for verification. Upon receiving confirmation from your bank, the transaction will be complete. This entire process only takes a couple of seconds.
Where can I use Google Pay?
Google Pay can be used at millions of merchants around the world, including all stores that accept contactless payments, online merchants and in many mobile apps.
Whether it’s your neighbourhood supermarkets, pharmacies, restaurants, petrol station or other retailers, all you need is the Google Pay app downloaded on an eligible Android phone to make payment with ease. The store just needs to accept contactless payments for you to use it.
Another way to be certain if a merchant accepts Google Pay is to check for the contactless payment or Google Pay symbols that are typically displayed at the store entrance or during checkout:
Google Pay symbol
Tap and pay
Which devices are compatible with Google Pay?
Google Pay is supported on all Android devices operating on KitKat 4.4 or later. You can also set up Google Pay on an Android Wear OS watch and a desktop/laptop computer.
At the time of writing (23 July 2020), iOS users can download the app on the Apple App store. However, do note that Google Pay on iOS devices only supports online transactions and not in-store payments.
How to set up Google Pay on your smartphone
Setting up Google Pay is simple and only takes a few minutes. Once configured, you can use your newly added card to make contactless payments right away:
- Check compatibility. You’ll need a compatible bank card and Android smartphone with operating system 4.4 or later.
- Download the app. You can download Google Pay from the Google Play store (or App store for iOS devices). Launch the app to begin.
- Add your credit/debit card. Tap on ‘Payment’ at the bottom of the screen. Then tap the add icon and then click ‘Add a debit or credit card’. Use the camera to capture your card info or input them manually. You may be asked to validate your new payment method, simply choose an option from the list and follow the instructions.
- Verification. Your card provider may want to verify your payment method by email, text or phone. Select your preferred method of verification and enter the verification code.
- Set up screen lock. Google Pay works with PIN, pattern, password, fingerprint, or retina scanning screen locks. Facial recognition or screen locks like Smart Unlock or Knock to Unlock are not supported.
Once the card has been added, you may see a small charge on your account from Google Pay. This is to check the validity of your card and will quickly disappear without affecting your balance.
You must be at least 16 years old to use Google Pay. If you’re under age 18, you’ll need a parent or legal guardian’s permission before you can accept the terms and conditions and use the app.
How many cards can I add to Google Pay?
You can store as many cards as you’d like in Google Pay. There’s no limit.
How to use Google Pay
Once you’ve successfully set up Google Pay on your device, making contactless payments online or in-store is only a matter of seconds:
- In-store payments. Simply unlock your phone and hold the back of your smartphone close to the payment terminal until you see a blue check mark indicating that the payment is successful.
- Online or in-app payments. Select the Google Pay option upon checkout. Your default payment card will automatically be charged, without having to re-enter your details.
Is Google Pay safe?
Absolutely! Google uses one of the most advanced security infrastructures in the world, protecting your payment info with multiple layers of security. Here are some of its most prominent security features:
- Encrypted transaction number. Google Pay app doesn’t share your physical card details with the merchant. Instead, it shares an encrypted virtual account number assigned to your card, as well as a number specific to your device to complete the payment.
- Short range data transfer. Near-field communication (NFC) only works within a few inches of another device, which prevents your data from being stolen.
- Remote device lock. If you lose your device, you may lock it remotely by logging into your Google Account from your computer’s browser. Alternatively, you can also freeze your card from your bank’s website.
- Server security. Powerful built-in security detects and blocks online threats such as spam, malware, and viruses from compromising your personal information.
How can I use Google Pay on my Android smartwatch?
As of September 2020, Google Pay on WearOS is not yet supported in Singapore.
Currently, this feature is only available for residents in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Poland, Russia, Spain, UK, or US.
With Google Pay, you can make in-store and online purchases using your mobile device as a digital wallet. But this contactless payment system only works on Android devices and with eligible debit and credit cards.
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