Android Pay comes to Canada

Years after all the real cool kids were able to pay for things with their mobile phones, my Android phone finally acquired the ability to mate with my MasterCard and become a contactless payment device yesterday. I christened it with the purchase of a cappuccino at Receiver Coffee, and here’s what the record of this purchase looks like in the Android Pay app:

Screen shot of Android Pay (my first usage)

I’m not exactly sure why it is deemed more convenient to take out my phone, unlock it, and hold it in front of the contactless terminal than it is to take out my wallet and hold my actual MasterCard in front of the contactless terminal. I suppose that you could argue that the fact that the ability to pay with the phone is marginally-secured behind the need to unlock the phone, and that a virtual card number rather than my actual card number is presented to the merchant render the process more secure.

I’ll keep using it for a while and see if I can tease out any actual day-to-day benefits (other than the palpable future-sheen it affords).


Ben Wedge's picture
Ben Wedge on June 2, 2017 - 10:36 Permalink

It's more convenient because we're all glued to our phones, eliminating the "remove payment device from pocket" step for many people.

Andrew's picture
Andrew on June 2, 2017 - 11:37 Permalink

$4.63 for a hot beverage...ouch!

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on June 2, 2017 - 11:43 Permalink

After day one of use, I’ve found a helpful aspect of Android Pay (which I assume applies also to Apple Pay): my credit card spending becomes more obvious to me.

For example, here are the four transactions, totaling $84.81, that I made yesterday (this doesn’t include a $90 purchase, for replacement headphones, at Best Buy, which didn’t support contactless payment):

Android Pay Screen Shot

One of the insidious aspects of credit cards is their ability to make spending appear magic: you wave a card, you get a thing; no consequences. Part of the the way this works is that feedback on your use of credit cards is delayed until you get your statement at the end of the month. Seeing spending scroll by in Android Pay makes me aware of it, and this might prove to be a natural limiter.

$4.63 for a hot beverage indeed!

Andrew's picture
Andrew on June 2, 2017 - 15:42 Permalink

It drives me up the wall that credit card transactions take two or three days to appear in online transactions.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on June 2, 2017 - 17:16 Permalink

But I’m annoyed too.

And I wish that Android Pay supported an client API that would allow me programmatic access to my own transactions.