Ulster Bank Launches Android Pay
Robyn Hamilton
Staff Writer

Ulster Bank joins AIB and KBC as the third bank to offer customers Android Pay. Ulster Bank already offers customers Apple Pay (a similar app for iPhone users) but now Android users can benefit from an app that allows current account holders to pay for goods and services with their phones at point of sale.

What is it and how does it work?

To get started, you’ll need to download the Android Pay app from Google Play and register your debit or credit card to your phone.

You will then be able to pay for items at point of sale by scanning your phone to the payment terminal, just as you would for a contactless card payment.

To pay for items over €30, you’ll have to unlock your phone before being able to pay with Android Pay.

The app also allows you to make in-app purchases when using various apps like Amazon, Deliveroo and so on. Since the app remembers your payment details, you won’t have to enter your long debit card number and address for every purchase.

Bonus: Ulster Bank offers no transaction charges and there is no additional fee for using Android Pay.

Who is eligible?

If you’re an Ulster Bank customer, to use Android Pay you must meet the following three criteria:

  • Have a current account  

  • Have an NFC-enabled Android phone (e.g Samsung, HTC, Sony)

  • Be running Android’s KitKat 4.4 operating system or higher

Is it secure?

The short answer: yes!  

The long answer:

Android Pay uses encryption and tokenisation to secure your details, making it a very safe option. What does that mean?  Well, you can rest assured that your card number is never actually shared with a shop. Instead, the app generates a new virtual number with every purchase. If you think about it, it’s actually a safer option than using your actual card where you share your card information all the time.

What if I lose my phone or it gets stolen?

Don’t worry, you can immediately lock your Android Pay with a new password and wipe it clean of all personal information through the Android Device Manager. Also, since there’s no access to your card details on your phone, you won’t have to go through the pain of cancelling your cards.

Here’s what Ulster Bank’s Director of Customer Experience and Products Maeve McMahon had to say about the launch:

“Android Pay is a great way for our customers to quickly, easily and securely make a purchase with just a tap of their mobile. The way in which our customers bank with us is changing radically. In 2016, 62% of customer interactions were digital. We saw a 22% increase in active users of our mobile app and our ‘Get Cash’ facility was used over 2,000 times a week. Android Pay will save many of our customers from having to carry cash around to make small purchases and is another great example of customer-focused innovation and how we’re helping to make banking with us simpler and more convenient.”

I’m not with Ulster Bank, but I want Android Pay:

Of the five major banks, three of them currently offer Android Pay; Ulster Bank, AIB and KBC. Neither Permanent TSB nor Bank of Ireland offer Android Pay (or Apple Pay for that matter) and there have been no moves to suggest that they will start offering them in the near future.

Tempted to switch? You can compare current accounts here or read about the best banks for mobile banking here.