Google Pay: What is it and how does it work?

Google’s response to the Apple Pay payment service was the Google Pay payment system for Android users. We will tell you, how Google’s payment system works, and how you can use it.

With the release of the Android M version in the fall of 2015, the Android Pay payment service began operating in the USA. It was then renamed Google Pay, and became available in Russia since May 2017. In this article we will understand, what kind of service is this and what it can be useful for.

What can Google Pay do?

Google Pay allows you to, without making much effort, pay for purchases using your Android smartphone in stores, on the Internet or in mobile applications.

In a regular store at the checkout, you can simply attach your smartphone to the payment terminal, and your purchase will be paid for - without cash, without a plastic card and PIN code. Truth, if you make more than three transactions worth more than 1000 rubles, you will have to unlock your phone, to approve the payment.


If you see such symbols on the cash terminal, in this store, you can pay via Google Pay.

Payment via Google Pay is supported by almost all the largest Russian retail chains - Pyaterochka, ‘Crossroads’, ‘Carousel’, ‘Magnet’, ‘Feed’, as well as fast food chains (McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King), gas stations (Rosneft, Bashneft) and some electronics stores (’M-Video’, ‘El Dorado’).

In apps or online stores, which you visit from your smartphone, you can also pay using Google Pay, if the seller supports this payment method. Eg, using Google Pay, you can pay for a taxi call via Uber, purchase on Lamoda and Pandao or order pizza at Dodo.

If the app supports Google Pay, it can be selected in the list of payment methods.

Money for a purchase in a supermarket or online store is withdrawn from your Visa or Mastercard bank card. In Russia, the service cooperates with 55 different banks, as with large federal (Sberbank, Tinkoff, Alfa-Bank, VTB24), so it is with smaller regional ones - you can read the full list of banks here.

How do I use Google Pay?

Google Pay system is supported on all Android smartphones, starting from Android 4.4. You can find out the Android version on your smartphone, by finding the ‘System’ item in the settings ‘About the phone’.

To pay in regular offline stores, your smartphone must have a built-in NFC chip. In new smartphone models , it, as a rule, there is. You can check its availability, by finding the appropriate item in the smartphone settings, or just by reading the technical specifications of the device on the Internet.

If your smartphone has NFC, you can pay them in stores.

To use Google Pay, First of all, you need to download and configure the free Google Pay app for Android. You can download it from this link. Important: To use the application, the official firmware must be installed on the smartphone.

Besides, the application may not start, if root access is obtained on the smartphone, that is, superuser rights. In addition to this, the screen lock must be enabled on the phone, so that no one else can use your data for payment.

If you have root or custom firmware, you may receive such a message.

After installing the application (it, certainly, free) you need to go to the smartphone settings and enable NFC. Then you need to configure the screen lock using a password or a graphic key in the ‘Lock screen and protection’. After that, you can launch the application.

To use the payment system, it is necessary to enter your bank card (or cards) data into the application, if you have several of them). If you have linked a bank card to your Google account, some smartphones offer to do this directly during the initial setup of the phone, - then the application will ‘pick up’ it automatically.

The map linked to the Google account is automatically recognized by the application.

If the card is not linked, you will be asked to scan it or manually enter its number and expiration date. Besides, in any case, you will need to manually enter the authenticity code of the card (CVC - three digits on the back of the card), and also your personal data: FULL name, full address and phone number.

After that, you need to accept the terms of use of the service, wait for card verification and confirm, that you are its owner, by entering the code from the SMS, which Google will send to your phone number. At the same time, a small amount (about 30 rubles) will be debited from your account. After a while it will be returned back - just make sure before setting up, that you have money in your account.

To confirm the map, Google will send you an SMS with a code.

This completes the setup, and you will be able to successfully use the Google Pay system. Even if your smartphone doesn’t have an NFC chip, installing the app still makes sense, to pay safely in online stores and apps.

Is it really safe? Yes. Your data is always transmitted in encrypted form. Thus, nothing threatens their safety. Sellers get money from Google, the bank details of your cards are not transmitted to them. Then Google deducts the amount spent from your account.

There are two small nuances, related to Google itself. First of all, Google receives a small commission for each payment, but the seller always pays it. Besides, Google uses your anonymized data to study consumer behavior.

Read also:

  • Who pays: Google Pay VS Apple Pay
  • Russia will have its own analogue of Google Pay and Apple Pay
  • 4 reasons to buy a smartphone with NFC, if you don’t have it yet