Overdue

You can now use your American Express card with Android Pay

By Alex Wood 17 July 2017
image: getty/adamdodd
Summary

Barclays still missing.

Just in time for summer, you can now use your American Express card with Android Pay.

Google’s Apple Pay rival launched in the UK in May 2016 and be can be used with most major banks and credit cards, with the notable exception of Barclays.

To get started, all you need to do is open the Android Pay app, tap the + button, tap ‘Add a credit or debit card’, and use either the camera or keyboard to add your Amex card.

Going it alone

With Apple and Google dominating almost all mobile payments in Europe and the US, some banks and credit cards were uneasy about handing over so much control to tech companies. Their response was to snub Apple and Android Pay and build their own systems.

Until now, American Express users were forced to use ‘Amex Pay’, a payments feature built into the Android Amex app. Barclays also built a similar feature into the bank’s Android app and show no signs of support Google’s official ‘Android Pay’.

Why this matters

Forget shopping in the real-world, the best thing about mobile is paying for things directly inside apps – for example paying for your Just Eat takeaway in a couple of taps.

Once you get used to not having to put your card details in every time you shop, you never want to go back.

Indie services like Amex Pay and Barclays Contactless Mobile work great in the high street shops, but that’s about it. And Apple and Google are unlikely to give up control and let third party payment apps anywhere near the rest of your phone.

That’s why Barclays buckled under public pressure and reluctantly supported Apple Pay, almost a year later than rival banks. And today, almost a year later, American Express let go, and now supports Android Pay.

Surely, it’s only a matter of time before Barclays will follow suit.

Read more: 

The Memo’s guide to switching from iPhone to Android