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Android Pay set to join Apple Pay in the UK

The payments industry is in the midst of something of a revolution at the moment. Leading banks such as HSBC are introducing biometric security and high-profile companies such as Samsung are ready to get rid of cash for good by focusing on digital payments.

Contactless solutions that use near-field communication (NFC) to enable payments on mobile devices are growing in popularity and, following in the footsteps of its rival Apple, Google has announced that Android Pay will be coming to the UK by the end of March.

Anthony Duffy, director of retail banking in UK & Ireland at Fujitsu, said Google's move was "another step towards the migration of payments onto electronic wallets and mobile phones".

"Following hard on the heels of Apple Pay's British launch last year, Android Pay's decision to launch a payment system is further evidence of how changes in payments is being driven by three key factors – the availability of new, technological driven payment platforms; increased consumer comfort in using non-traditional payment options; and a continued shift to internet shopping."

Data released by the UK Cards Association shows just how quickly the industry is growing, with figures showing that the £7.75 million spent in the UK through contactless in 2015 was more than double that of the previous seven years combined.

Samsung Pay is also due to launch in the UK this year, joining Apple Pay and Android Pay in a market which, although still in the early stages, is already extremely competitive.