Google's Android Pay hits Australia

ANZ, Coles, first Aussie giants to make launch

Android Pay has launched in Australia, with ANZ Bank being the first of the Big Four able to use the phone-only facility.

The technology allows mobile payments to be made directly from mobile phones in what payment security types say is a boon to anti-fraud initiatives.

It is live for Australia's ANZ Bank, Macquarie, MyState, People's Choice Credit Union, and Teachers Mutual Bank.

St George Bank, ING Direct, Bendigo Bank, and Westpac will follow.

Australia's largest bank, The Commonwealth Bank, is conspicuously absent from the list of participating banks.

The service should work wherever the contactless "PayWave" system works, for those whose banks are on board. McDonalds will be added to the menu "soon".

Payments will soon be possible using Android Pay from other apps including Kogan, Jestar and Menulog.

Google senior product management director Pali Bhat talked up Android Pay's security and added it will not detract from the protections banks afford to credit cards.

"Android Pay keeps your card information secure with industry standard tokenisation and you’ll continue to enjoy the rewards, benefits and security of your credit cards when you use Android Pay," Bhat says.

Users of rooted handsets and custom ROMs will likely be out of luck attempting to install Android Pay.

Mountain View brought in the New Year by blocking a method by developer Chainfire which enabled rooting to be temporarily switched off. Some users still report success through that and other mitigations including Xposed module root cloaks.

Google says users who lose their handsets can use the Android Device Manager to locate and wipe devices using the cash-less card-less payments feature.

However it appears possible that crims could set stolen handsets to airplane mode and make payments for a couple of days before Android Pay requires the phone to connect online.

It remains, of course, far easier to use stolen credit cards for fraud. ®

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