Google Pay’s tight integration with the Android OS makes it one of the most widely available and widely accepted mobile payment solutions. However, many international regions still don’t have access to this nifty tool, keeping people from the convenience of tap-and-pay on almost any Android phone. That’s changing today, at least for ten European countries where Google Pay is finally debuting.
Users in Austria, Bulgaria, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Portugal, and Romania have long been waiting for Google Pay to arrive, but the app hasn’t had a presence there so far. According to a Mastercard statement, Pay will work with various issuers and fintechs "including but not limited to Banca Transilvania, Bunq, CEC Bank, Curve, LHV Pank, Monese, N26, Paynetics, Revolut, Swedbank, Unicredit Bank Romania, and Viva Wallet."
Anyone with an NFC-enabled Android phone can now link cards from the institutions mentioned above to Google Pay for physical as well as online payments. Your card information is stored locally in the form of an encrypted virtual card. Availability might vary depending on which card exactly you have — it's possible that Visa cards won't work. Some banks, like bunq or Revolut, also require you to import cards to Pay via their Android apps — adding a card issued by them straight through the Google Pay app won't let you use it for in-store payments.
As with almost all things Google, it might take a while until the Pay app is available and properly functional for you if you reside in one of the newly supported countries. If you're particularly eager to leave your wallet at home, try downloading the latest Pay release from APK Mirror and see if it works for you. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the app is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way.
Rollout in 10 European countries
The article has been updated to reflect that Google Pay is rolling out to financial institutions in many more European countries, not just the Netherlands and Portugal.
- and everyone in the comments!