What is Google Pay? All Your Questions Answered

You may have noticed people in shops, markets, and cafes holding their smartphones at checkout, using new payment technologies like Google Pay (formerly Android Pay) to make purchases. These new systems are completing a contactless transaction using a technology called near field communication (NFC) to transmit information from the mobile device to a payment reader. Often referred to as mobile payments, they’re also the newest, fastest, and most secure way to pay.

What is Google Pay?

Google Pay is a mobile wallet technology, and one of several emerging payment apps that have recently been introduced in Canada (another popular app is Apple Pay).

Rather than taking their wallet out of their pocket, customers can use a device that’s likely already in their hand — their phone. NFC mobile payments are just as fast, and in some cases faster, than tap-and-go cards. The transaction is processed on the spot—unlike credit or debit cards, which can take a few additional seconds while the card is verified by the bank.

Here’s what you should know about Google Pay:

How can my business accept Google Pay?

To accept Google Pay, your business will need a contactless payment reader, or EFTPOS (electronic funds transfer at point of sale) machine.

Google Pay’s website lists some of the major retailers around Canada that are accepting contactless pay, such as Tim Hortons, Loblaws, and Petro-Canada. But you don’t need to be a large business to accept Google Pay — businesses of all sizes can do it with the new Square Reader (2nd generation)($69).

Which smartphones can use Google Pay?

Google Pay is compatible with most newer Android smartphones. The Square Reader (2nd generation) is also compatible with most Android devices, as long as you’re running Google Android 4.4 or later, have location services enabled, and have access to Google Play. Check to see if your Android device is compatible on our Compatability Page.

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A simple, integrated payments and point-of-sale system that can grow and adapt to your needs.

How do I get set up with Google Pay?

If you’re keen to start paying with Google Pay, the first thing you’ll need to do is find the app on your smartphone. If it isn’t already pre-loaded, simply download it from Google Play.

Next, you’ll need to add a credit card associated with your Google account by simply confirming a few details. You can also add a new credit card by snapping a picture of it. Then, to get going, you simply unlock your phone.

If you’re a business owner, it’s even simpler to start accepting Google Pay. Just order Square Reader (2nd generation) online (it allows you to accept Google Pay, Apple Pay, and contactless debit cards). It connects to your mobile phone or tablet device using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology, so setup is simple and only takes a few moments.

You can also learn more about how to start accepting NFC contactless payments here.

Which banks accept Google Pay?

A growing list of banks and credit card brands are allowing their customers to accept Google Pay in Canada. INTERAC Flash® works with Google Pay through Bank of Montreal, CIBC, Desjardins, L’Alliance, Scotiabank, and UNI, and through credit cards such as American Express, Visa, and Mastercard. Google Pay has a full list of institutions that it works with in Canada.

How do I pay with Google Pay?

To make a purchase with Google Pay, simply open the app on your smartphone (this will require you to have a secure lock screen) and complete the transaction by holding or tapping your device over the payment reader. The transaction happens instantly, and you’ll hear a beep when it’s been approved.

Is Google Pay safe?

Mobile wallets are considered much more secure than many other types of card payments, and they’re a lot more convenient. Whenever you make a purchase, a payment confirmation pops up on your phone along with the merchant’s name and number. This let’s you know what transaction occurred and where it took place — making it easy to identify any fraudulent charges. And in case of a theft or loss, you can simply lock your device with Android Device Manager, which also allows you to update your password and delete any personal information.

What’s the difference between Google Pay and Apple Pay?

Apple Pay is Apple’s mobile wallet option, meaning it won’t work on an Android Device. You’ll need an iPhone 6 (or Plus), 6S (or Plus), 7, 8, or X or an Apple Watch to use Apple Pay.

Both Google Pay and Apple Pay use NFC (near field communication) technology to process transactions. They’re both used by hovering (or “tapping”) your phone above the NFC-enabled payments reader while your finger is on the home button (the “Touch ID” button in the case of Apple Pay). You can also use both Google Pay and Apple Pay to make online payments in some apps and on some websites.